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Proverbs, Epigrams, and 
Miscellanies of 



A Dialogue of the Effectual Proverbs in the English 
Tongue concerning Marriages — First Hundred Epi- 
grams — Three Hundred Epigrams on Three Hundred 
Proverbs — The Fifth Hundred Epigrams — A Sixth 
Hundred Epigrams — Miscellanies — Ballads — Note- Book 
and Word- List 



This edition, published in 1966, 

is a facsimile of the edition published by the 


in 1906 





A Dialogue of the Effectual Proverbs in the 
English Tongue concerning Marriages : 
Part I., Chapters I .-XI 1 1 i 

Part II., Chapters I .-XI 51 

The First Hundred Epigrams 105 

Three Hundred Epigrams upon Three Hundred 

Proverbs 155 

The Fifth Hundred Epigrams 229 

A Sixth Hundred Epigrams 265 

A Description of a Most Noble Lady .... 299 

A Ballad of the Green Willow 303 

A Ballad against Slander and Detraction . . . 305 

A Brief Ballet touching the Traitorous taking 

of Scarborough Castle 311 

A Ballad of the Marriage between our 

Sovereign Lord and our Sovereign Lady . 315 

A Note-Book, Word-List, and Index to Pro- 
verbs and Colloquialisms 319 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 

*t % trtalogue conttgngna tfte 

number of tf)e effectuall prouerbes in 

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L O N D I N I. 

anno chrifti. 







Among other things profiting in our tongue — 
Those which much may profit both old and 

Such as on their fruit will feed or take hold — 
Are our common plain pithy proverbs old. 
Some sense of some of which, being bare and 

Yet to fine and fruitful effect they allude. 
And their sentences include so large a reach, 
That almost in all things good lessons they 

teach. [why ? 

This write I, not to teach, but to touch : for 
Men know this as well or better than I. 
But this, and this rest, I write for this, 
Rememb'ring and considering what the pith 

is : 
That, by remembrance of these, proverbs may 

In this tale, erst talked with a friend, I show 
As many of them as we could fitly find 
Falling to purpose, that might fall in mind ; 
To th 'intent that the reader readily may 
Find them, and mind them, when he will 



B 2 

4 Proverbs, Pt I., Ch. I. 

Chapter I. 

Of mine acquaintance a certain young man 
(Being a resorter to me now and than) 
Resorted lately, showing himself to be 
Desirous to talk at length alone with me. 
And, as we for this a meet place had won, 
With this old proverb this young man begun. 
Whoso that knew what would be dear, 
Should need be a merchant but one year. 
Though it, (quoth he), thing impossible be 
The full sequel of present things to foresee, 
Yet doth this proverb provoke every man 
Politically, (as man possible can), 
In things to come after to cast eye before, 
To cast out, or keep in, things for fore store; 
As the provision may seem most profitable, 
And the commodity most commendable. 
Into this consideration I am wrought 
By two things, which fortune to hands hath 

Two women I know, of which twain the tone 
Is a maid of flowering age, a goodly one ; 
Th 'other a widow, who so many years bears, 
That all her whiteness lieth in her white hairs. 
This maid hath friends rich, but riches hath 

she none, 
Nor none can her hands get to live upon. 
This widow is very rich, and her friends bare, 
And both these, for love, to wed with me fond 

are. [worse ; 

And both would I wed, the better and the 
The tone for her person, the tother for her 

purse. [woo. 

They woo not my substance, but myself they 
Goods have I none and small good can I do. 

Proverbs, Pt I., Ch. II. 5 

On this poor maid, her rich friends, I clearly 

know, [bestow, 

(So she wed where they will), great gifts will 
But with them all I am so far from faver, 
That she shall sure have no groat, if I have 

her. [swear, 

And I shall have as little, all my friends 
Except I follow them, to wed elsewhere. 
The poor friends of this rich widow bear no 

But wed her and win wealth, when I will I may. 
Now which of these twain is like to be dearest ? 
In pain or pleasure to stick to me nearest? 
The depth of all doubts with you to confither, 
The sense of the said proverb sendeth me 

hither, [scan'd, 

The best bargain of both quickly to have 
For one of them, think I, to make out of hand. 

Chapter II. 

Friend, (quoth I), welcome ! and with right 

good will, 
I will, as I can, your will herein fulfil. 
And two things I see in you, that show you 

First, in wedding, ere ye wed to ask advice. 
The second, your years being young it appears, 
Ye regard yet good proverbs of old feme years. 
And, as ye ground your tale upon one of them, 
Furnish we this tale with everychone of them, 
Such as may fitly fall in mind to dispose. 
Agreed, (quoth he). Then, (quoth I), first this 

disclose — [maid, 

Have you to this old widow, or this young 
Any words of assurance ere this time said? 

6 Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. II. 

Nay, in good faith ! said he. Well then, (said 

I will be plain with you, and may honestly 
And plainly too speak : I like you, (as I said), 
In two foretold things ; but a third have I 

Not so much to be liked, as I can deem; 
Which is, in your wedding, your haste so 

The best or worst thing to man, for this life, 
Is good or ill choosing his good or ill wife. 
I mean not only of body good or bad, 
But of all things meet or unmeet to be had ; 
Such as at any time by any mean may, 
Between man and wife, love increase or decay. 
Where this ground in any head gravely 

All fiery haste to wed, it soon rebateth. 
Some things that provoke young men to wed 

in haste, 
Show, after wedding, that haste maketh waste. 
When time hath turned white sugar to white 
salt, [malt. 

Then such folk see, soft fire maketh sweet 
And that deliberation doth men assist, 
Before they wed, to beware of Had I wist. 
And then, their timely wedding doth clear 

That they were early up, and never the near. 
And once their hasty heat a little controlled, 
Then perceive they well, hot love soon cold. 
And when hasty witless mirth is mated weele, 
Good to be merry and wise y they think and 

Haste in wedding some man thinketh his own 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. II. 7 

When haste proveth a rod made for his own 

And when he is well beaten with his own rod, 
Then seeth he haste and wisdom things jar 

odd. [need, 

And that in all, or most things, wisht at 
Most times he seeth, the more haste the less 

speed. [hasty man's foe, 

In less things than wedding haste show'th 
So that the hasty man never wanteth woe. 
These sage said saws if ye take so profound, 
As ye take that by which ye took your ground, 
Then find ye grounded cause by these now here 

In haste to wedding your haste to withhold. 
And though they seem wives for you never so 

fit, [wit 

Yet let not harmful haste so far outrun your 
But that ye hark to hear all the whole sum 
That may please or displease you in time to 

come. [cheap 

Thus, by these lessons, ye may learn good 
In wedding and all thing to look or ye leap. 
Ye have even now well overlooked me, (quoth 

And leapt very nigh me too. For, I agree 
That these sage sayings do weightily weigh 
Against haste in all thing, but I am at bay 
By other parables, of like weighty weight, 
Which haste me to wedding, as ye shall hear 


8 Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. III. 

Chapter III. 

He that will not when he may, 
When he would he shall have nay. 
Beauty or riches, the tone of the twain 
Now may I choose, and which me list obtain. 
And if we determine me this maid to take, 
And then tract of time train her me to forsake, 
Then my beautiful marriage lieth in the dike ; 
And never for beauty shall I wed the like. 
Now if we award me this widow to wed, 
And that I drive off time, till time she be dead, 
Then farewell riches, the fat is in the fire, 
And never shall I to like riches aspire. 
And, a thousandfold would it grieve me more 
That she, in my fault, should die one hour 

before [voke, 

Than one minute after; then haste must pfro- 
When the pig is proffered to hold up the poke. 
When the sun shineth make hay; which is to 

say, [away. 

Take time when time cometh, lest time steal 
And one good lesson to this purpose I pike 
From the smith's forge, when th'iron is hot, 

strike ! [man ; 

The sure seaman seeth, the tide tarrieth no 
And long delays or absence somewhat to scan, 
Since that, that one will not another will — 
Delays in wooers must needs their speed spill. 
And touching absence, the full accompte who 

Shall see, as fast as one goeth another cometh. 
Time is tickle; and, out of sight, out of mind. 
Then catch and hold while I may : fast bind, 

fast find. [bleared, 

Blame me not to haste for fear mine eye be 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. III. 9 

And thereby the fat clean flit from my beard. 
Where wooers hop in and out, long time may 

Him that hoppeth best at last to have the ring. 
I hopping without for a ring of a rush, 
And while I at length debate and beat the bush, 
There shall step in other men and catch the 

And by long time lost in many vain words, 
Between these two wives make sloth speed 

confound; [ground. 

While, between two stools, my tail go to 
By this, since we see sloth must breed a scab, 
Best stick to the tone out of hand, hab or nab. 
Thus, all your proverbs inveighing against 

haste, [placed. 

Be answered with proverbs plain and promptly 
Whereby, to purpose all this no further fits, 
But to show so many heads so many wits. 
Which show, as surely in all that they all tell, 
That in my wedding I may even as well 
Tarry too long, and thereby come too late, 
As come too soon by haste in any rate. 
And prove this proverb, as the words thereof 

Haste or sloth herein work nother wealth nor 
Be it far or nigh, wedding is destiny. [woe — 
And hanging likewise, saith that proverb, said 

Then wed or hang, (quoth he), what helpeth in 

the whole, 
To haste or hang aloof, happy man happy dole. 
Ye deal this dole, (quoth I), out at a wrong 

dur ; 
For destiny, in this case doth not so stir 
Against man's endeavour, but man may direct 

io Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. IV. 

His will, for provision to work or neglect. 
But, to show that quick wedding may bring 
good speed, [deed. 

Somewhat to purpose your proverbs prove in- 
Howbeit, whether they counterpoise or out- 
The proverbs which I before them did lay, 
The trial thereof we will lay a water 
Till we try more. For trying of which matter 
Declare all commodities ye can devise 
That, by those two weddings, to you can rise. 

Chapter IV. 

I will, (quoth he), in both these cases straight 

show [grow. 

What things, (as I think), to me by them will 
And, where my love began, there begin will I 
With this maid, the piece peerless in mine eye ; 
Whom I so favour, and she so favoureth me, 
That half a death to us ['tis] asunder to be. 
Affection, each to other, doth us so move 
That well nigh, without food, we could live by 

love. [sight, 

For, be I right sad, or right sick, from her 
Her presence absenteth all maladies quite ; 
Which seen, and that the great ground in 

Standeth upon liking the parties personage, 
And then of old proverbs, in opening the pack, 
One sheweth me openly, in love is no lack. 
No lack of liking, but lack of living 
May lack in love, (quoth I), and breed ill 

Well, as to that, (said he), hark this othing : 
What time I lack not her, I lack nothing. 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. IV. u 

But though we have nought, nor nought we 

can geat, 
God never sendeth mouth but he sendeth meat; 
And a hard beginning maketh a good ending; 
In space cometh grace, and this further amend- 
Seldom cometh the better, and like will to like ; 
God sendeth cold after clothes ; and this I pike, 
She, by lack of substance, seeming but a 

Steinth yet the stoutest : for a leg of a lark 
Is better than is the body of a kite ; 
And home is homely though it be poor in sight. 
These proverbs for this part show such a 

And then this party doth delight so nourish ; 
That much is my bow bent to shoot at these 

marks, [have larks. 

And kill fear : when the sky falleth we shall 
All perils that fall may, who feareth they fall 

Shall so fear all thing, that he shall let fall all ; 
And be more fraid than hurt } if the things were 

doone; [moon; 

Fear may force a man to cast beyond the 
Who hopeth in God's help, his help cannot 

start : 
Nothing is impossible to a willing heart. 
And will may win my heart, herein to consent, 
To take all things as it cometh, and be content. 
And here is, (q'he), in marrying of this maid, 
For courage and commodity all mine aid. 
Well said, (said I), but awhile keep we in 

quench [wench. 

All this case, as touching this poor young 
And now declare your whole consideration ; 

12 Proverbs, Pt L, Ch. V. 

What manner things draw your imagination 
Toward your wedding of this widow, rich and 

That shall ye, (q'he), out of hand have told. 

Chapter V. 

This widow, being foul, and of favour ill, 
In good behaviour can very good skill ; 
Pleasantly spoken, and a very good wit ; 
And, at her table, when we together sit, 
I am well served — we fare of the best ; 
The meat good and wholesome, and whole- 
somely dressed ; [shift — 
Sweet and soft lodging, and thereof great 
This felt and seen ; with all implements of 

thrift, [coffers ; 

Of plate and money such cupboards and 
And that without pain I may win these proffers. 
Then covetise, bearing Venus 's bargain back, 
Praising this bargain saith, better leave than 

And greediness, to draw desire to her lore, 
Saith, that the wise man saith, store is no sore. 
Who hath many peas may put the mo in the 

pot; [in lot. 

Of two ills, choose the least, while choice lieth 
Since lack is an ill, as ill as man may have, 
To provide for the worst, while the best itself 

Resty wealth willeth me this widow to win, 
To let the world wag, and take mine ease in 

mine inn — [chin; 

He must needs swim, that is hold up by the 
He laugheth that winneth. And this thread 

finer to spin, 

Proverbs, Pt I., Ch. V. 13 

Maister promotion saieth : make this substance 

If riches bring once portly countenance in ure, 
Then shalt thou rule the roost all round about ; 
And better to rule, than be ruled by the rout. 
It is said : be it better, be it worse, 
Do ye after him that beareth the purse. 
Thus be I by this once le senior de graunde, 
Many that commanded me I shall command. 
And also I shall, to revenge former hurts, 
Hold their noses to grindstone, and sit on their 

That erst sat on mine. And riches may make 
Friends many ways. Thus, better to give than 
And, to make carnal appetite content, [take. 
Reason laboureth will, to win will's consent, 
To take lack of beauty but as an eye fore, 
The fair and the foul by dark are like store; 
When all candles be out all cats be grey ; 
All things are then of one colour, as who say. 
And this proverb saith, for quenching hot 

Foul water as soon as fair will quench hot fire. 
Where gifts be given freely — east, west, north 

or south — 
No man ought to look a given horse in the 

mouth. [tail — 

And though her mouth be foul she hath a fair 
I conster this text, as is most my avail. 
In want of white teeth and yellow hairs to 

She flourisheth in white silver and yellow gold. 
What though she be toothless l and bald as a 

coot ? 
Her substance is shoot anker, whereat I shoot. 
Take a pain for a pleasure all wise men can — 

14 Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. VI. 

What? hungry dogs will eat dirty puddings, 

man ! 
And here I conclude, (quoth he), all that I 

By this old widow, what good to me may grow. 

Chapter VI. 

Ye have, (quoth I), in these conclusions found 
Sundry things, that very savourly sound; 
And both these long cases, being well viewed, 
In one short question we may well include ; 
Which is : whether best or worse be to be led 
With riches, without love or beauty, to wed ; 
Or, with beauty without richesse, for love. 
This question, (quoth he), inquireth all that I 

It doth so, (said I), and is neerly couched, 
But th 'answer will not so briefly be touched; 
And yourself, to length it, taketh direct trade. 
For to all reasons that I have yet made, 
Ye seem more to seek reasons how to contend, 
Than to the counsel of mine to condescend. 
And to be plain, as I must with my friend, 
I perfectly feel, even at my finger's end, 
So hard is your hand set on your halfpenny, 
That my reasoning your reason setteth nought 
But, reason for reason, ye so stiffly lay [by. 
By proverb for proverb, that with you do 

That reason only shall herein nought move you 
To hear more than speak; wherefore, I will 

prove you 
With reason, assisted by experience, [hence, 
Which myself saw, not long since nor far 
In a matter so like this fashioned in frame 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. VI. 15 

That none can be liker — it seemeth even the 

And in the same, as yourself shall espy, 
Each sentence suited with a proverb well nigh ; 
And, at end of the same, ye shall clearly see 
How this short question shortly answered may 

be. [prick ; 

Yea, marry ! (quoth he) ; now ye shoot nigh the 
Practise in all, above all toucheth the quick. 
Proof upon practise, must take hold more sure 
Than any reasoning by guess can procure. 
If ye bring practise in place, without fabling, 
I will banish both haste and busy babling. 
And yet, that promise to perform is mickle, 
For in this case my tongue must oft tickle. 
Ye know well it is> as telleth us this old tale, 
Meet that a man be at his own bridal, [were ; 
If he wive well, (quoth I), meet and good it 
Or else as good for him another were there. 
But for this your bridal, I mean not in it 
That silence shall suspend your speech every 

But in these marriages, which ye here meve, 
Since this tale containeth the counsel I can 

I would see your ears attend with your tongue ; 
For advice in both these weddings, old and 

young. [to talk, 

In which hearing, time seen when and what 
When your tongue tickleth, at will let it walk. 
And in these bridals, to the reasons of ours, 
Mark mine experience in this case of yours. 

16 Proverbs, Pt I., Ch. VII. 

Chapter VII. 

Within few years passed, from London no far 
way, _ _ [lay, 

Where I and my wife with our poor household 
Two young- men -were abiding ; whom to dis- 
Were I, in portraying persons dead or alive, 
As cunning and as quick, to touch them at full, 
As in that feat I am ignorant and dull, 
Never could I paint their pictures to allow 
More lively than to paint the picture of you. 
And as your three persons show one similitude, 
So show you three one, in all things to be 

Likewise a widow and a maid there did dwell ; 
Alike, like the widow and maid ye of tell, 
The friends of them four, in every degree 
Standing in state, as the friends of you three. 
Those two men, each other so hasted or tarried, 
That those two women on one day they 
married. [stand, 

Into two houses, which next my house did 
The one on the right, th 'other on the left hand, 
Both bridegrooms bade me — I could do none 

But dine with the tone, and sup with the tother. 
He that wedded this widow rich and old, 
And also she, favoured me so that they wold 
Make me dine or sup once or twice in a week. 
This poor young man and his make, being to 
seek [bad, 

As oft where they might eat or drink, I them 
Were I at home, to such pittance as I had. 
Which common conference such confidence 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. VII. 17 

In them to me, that deed, word, ne well nigh 

Chanced among them, whatever it were, [ear. 
But one of the four brought it straight to mine 
Whereby, between these twain, and their two 

wives, [lives. 

Both for wealth and woe, I knew all their four 
And since the matter is much intricate, 
Between side and side, I shall here separate 
All matters on both sides, and then sequestrate 
Th'one side, while th'other be full rehearsed, 

in rate, 
As for your understanding may best stand. 
And this young poor couple shall come first in 

Who, the day of wedding, and after a while, 
Could not look each on other but they must 

As a whelp, for wantonness, in and out whips, 
So played these twain, as merry as three chips. 
Yea, there was God, (quoth he), when all is 

Abide ! (quoth I), it was yet but honey moon ; 
The black ox had not trod on his nor her foot. 
But ere this branch of bliss could reach any 

The flowers so faded that, in fifteen weeks 
A man might espy the change in the cheeks, 
Both of this poor wretch, and his wife, this 

poor wench — [French. 

Their faces told toys, that Tott'n'am was turned 
And all their light laughing turn'd and trans- 
Into sad sighing; all mirth was amated. 
And, one morning timely, he took in hand 
To make, to my house, a sleeveless errand ; 
hey. n. c 

1 8 Proverbs, Pt I., Ch. VIII. 

Hawking- upon me, his mind herein to break, 
Which I would not see till he began to speak, 
Praying me to hear him : and I said, I would ; 
Wherewith this that followeth forthwith he 

Chapter VIII. 

I am now driven, (quoth he), for ease of my 

To you, to utter part of mine inward smart. 
And the matter concerneth my wife and me, 
Whose fathers and mothers long since dead 

But uncles, with aunts and cousins, have we 
Divers, rich on both sides ; so that we did see 
If we had wedded, each where each kindred 

Neither of us had lacked either silver or gold. 
But never could suit, on either side, obtain 
One penny to the one wedding of us twain. 
And since our one marrying, or marring day, 
Where any of them see us, they shrink away, 
Solemnly swearing - , such as may give ought, 
While they and we live, of them we get right 

nought. [get, 

Nor nought have we, nor no way ought can we 
Saving by borrowing till we be in debt 
So far, that no man any more will us lend ; 
Whereby, for lack, we both be at our wits' 

Whereof, no wonder ; since the end of our 

And beginning- of our charge, together stood. 
But wit is never good till it be bought. 
Howbeit, when bought, wits to best price be 

brought ; 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. VIII. 19 

Yet is one good forewit worth two after wits. 
This payeth me home, lo ! and full mo folly 

For, had I looked afore, with indifferent eye, 
Though haste had made me thirst never so dry, 
Yet to drown this drought, this must I needs 

think : 
As I would needs brew, so must I needs drink. 
The drink of my bride cup I should have for- 
Till temperance had tempered the taste beforne. 
I see now, and shall see while I am alive, 
Who weddeth or he be wise shall die or he 

I sing now in this fact, factus est repente, 
Now mine eyes be open I do repent me : 
He that will sell lawn before he can fold it, 
He shall repent him before he have sold it. 
Some bargains dear bought, good cheap would 

be sold; 
No man loveth his fetters, be they made of 

gold ; 
Were I loose from the lovely links of my chain, 
I would not dance in such fair fetters again. 
In house to keep household, when folks will 

needs wed, [bed. 

Mo things belong than four bare legs in a 
I reckoned my wedding a sugar-sweet spice ; 
But reckoners without their host much reckon 

twice. [twain, 

And, although it were sweet for a week or 
Sweet meat will have sour sauce, I see now 
Continual penury, which I must take, [plain. 
Telleth me : better eye out than alway ache. 
Boldly and blindly I ventured on this ; 
Howbeit, who so bold as blind Bayard is? 

c 2 

ao Proverbs, Pt I., Ch. IX. 

And herein, to blame any man, then should I 

For I did it myself : and self do, self have. 
But, a day after fair cometh this remorse 
For relief : for, though it be a good horse 
That never stumbleth, what praise can that 

avouch [touch ? 

To jades that break their necks at first trip or 
And before this my first foil or breakneck fall, 
Subtilly like a sheep, thought I, I shall 
Cut my coat after my cloth when I have her. 
But now I can smell f nothing hath no savour ; 
/ am taught to know, in more haste than good 
How Judicare came into the Creed. [speed, 

My careful wife in one corner weepeth in care, , 
And I in another; the purse is threadbare. 
This corner of our care, (quoth he), I you tell, 
To crave therein your comfortable counsel. 

Chapter IX. 

I am sorry, (quoth I), of your poverty; 
And more sorry that I cannot succour ye ; 
If ye stir your need mine alms to stir, 
Then of truth ye beg at a wrong man's dur. 
There is nothing more vain, as yourself tell can, 
Than to beg a breech of a bare-arsed man. 
I come to beg - nothing of you, (quoth he), 
Save your advice, which may my best way be ; 
How to win present salve for this present sore. 
I am like th'ill surgeon, (said I), without store 
Of good plasters. Howbeit, such as they are, 
Ye shall have the best I have. But first declare 
Where your and your wife's rich kinfolk do 
dwell. [well, 

Environed about us, (quoth he), which showeth 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. IX. 21 

The nearer to the church, the farther from God. 
Most part of them dwell within a thousand rod ; 
And yet shall we catch a hare with a taber 
As soon as catch aught of them, and rather. 
Ye play cole-prophet, (quoth I), who taketh in 

To know his answer before he do his errand. 
What should I to them, (quoth he), fling or flit? 
An unbidden guest knoweth not where to sit. 
I am cast at cart's arse, some folk in lack 
Cannot prease : a broken sleeve holdeth th'arm 

back ; 
And shame holdeth me back, being thus for- 
Tush, man ! (quoth I), shame is as it is taken; 
And shame take him that shame thinketh ye 

think none. 
Unminded, unmoaned, go make your moan; 
Till meat fall in your mouth, will ye lie in bed? 
Or sit still? nay, he that gapeth till he be fed 
May fortune to fast and famish for hunger. 
Set forward, ye shall never labour younger. 
Well, (quoth he), if I shall needs this viage 

With as good will as a bear goeth to the 

I will straight weigh anchor, and hoist up sail ; 
And thitherward hie me in haste like a snail; 
And home again hitherward quick as a bee : 
Now, for good luck, cast an old shoe after me. 
Arid first to mine uncle, brother to my father, 
By suit I will assay to win some favour. 
Who brought me up, and till my wedding was 

Loved me, not as his nephew, but as his son ; 
And his heir had I been, had not this chanced. 

22 Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. IX. 

Of lands and goods which should me much 

avanced. [bones 

Trudge, (quoth I), to him, and on your mary- 
Crouch to the ground, and not so oft as once 
Speak any one word him to contrary. 
I cannot tell that, (quoth he), by Saint Mary ! 
One ill word axeth another, as folks spake. 
Well ! (quoth I), better is to bow than break — 
It hurteth not the tongue to give fair words ; 
The rough net is not the best catcher of birds. 
Since ye can nought win, if ye cannot please, 
Best is to suffer : for of sufferance cometh ease. 
Cause causeth, (quoth he), and as cause causeth 

So will I do : and with this away went he. 
Yet, whether his wife should go with him or no, 
He sent her to me to know ere he would go. 
Whereto I said, I thought best he went alone. 
And you, (quoth I), to go straight as he is 

Among your kinsfolk likewise, if they dwell 

Yes, (quoth she), all round about, even here 

Namely, an aunt, my mother's sister, who well, 
(Since my mother died), brought me up from 

the shell, 
And much would have given me, had my 

wedding grown 
Upon her fancy, as it grew upon mine own. 
And, in likewise, mine uncle, her husband, was 
A father to me. Well, (quoth I), let pass ; 
And, if your husband will his assent grant, 
Go, he to his uncle, and you to your aunt. 
Yes, this assent he granteth before, (quoth 


Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. X. 23 

For he, ere this, thought this the best way 
to be. [none 

But of these two things he would determine 
Without aid : for two heads are better than one. 
With this we departed, she to her husband, 
And I to dinner to them on th 'other hand. 

Chapter X. 

When dinner was done I came home again 
To attend on the return of these twain. 
And ere three hours to end were fully tried, 
Home came she first : welcome, (quoth I), and 

well hied ! 
Yea, a short horse is soon curried, (quoth she) ; 
But the weaker hath the worse we all day see. 
After our last parting, my husband and I 
Departed, each to place agreed formerly. 
Mine uncle and aunt on me did lower and 

glome ; [welcome. 

Both bade me God speed, but none bade me 
Their folks glomed on me too, by which it 

appeareth : 
The young cock croweth, as he the old heareth. 
At dinner they were, and made, (for manners' 

A kinswoman of ours me to table take ; 
A false flatt'ring filth; and, if that be good, 
None better to bear two faces_ in one hood. 
She speaketh as she would creep into your 

bosom; [bottom 

And, when the meal-mouth hath won the 
Of your stomach, then will the pickthank it tell 
To your most enemies, you to buy and sell. 
To tell tales out of school, that is her great 

lust ; 

24 Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. X. 

Look what she knoweth, blab it wist, and out it 

There is no mo such titifils in England's ground, 
To hold with the hare, and run with the hound. 
Fire in the tone hand, and water in the tother, 
The makebate beareth between brother and 

She can wink on the ewe and worry the lamb; 
She maketh earnest matters of every flimflam. 
She must have an oar in every man's barge; 
And no man may chat ought in ought of her 

Coll under canstick, she can play on both 

hands ; 
Dissimulation well she understands. 
She is lost with an apple, and won with a nut; 
Her tongue is no edge tool, but yet it will cut. 
Her cheeks are purple ruddy like a horse plum ; 
And the big part of her body is her bum. 
But little tit-all-tail, I have heard ere this, 
As high as two horse-loaves her person is. 
For privy nips or casts overthwart the shins, 
He shall lese the mastery that with her begins. 
She is, to turn love to hate, or joy to grief, 
A pattern as meet as a rope for a thief. 
Her promise of friendship for any avail, 
Is as sure to hold as an eel by the tail. 
She is nother fish, nor flesh, nor good red 

She is a ringleader there; and I, fearing 
She would spit her venom, thought it not evil 
To set up a candle before the devil. 
I clawed her by the back, in way of a charm 
To do me, not the more good, but the less 

harm ; 
Praying her, in her ear, on my side to hold ; 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. X. 25 

She thereto swearing, by her false faith, she 

Straight after dinner mine aunt had no choice, 
But other burst, or burst out in Pilate's voice: 
Ye huswife, what wind bloweth ye hither this 
night? [is light. 

Ye might have knocked ere ye came in ; leave 
Better unborn than untaught, I have heard 

But be ye better fed than taught, far away ; 
Not very fat fed, said this flebergebet ; [jet. 

But need hath no law; need maketh her hither 
She cometh, niece Alice, (quoth she), for that 
is her name, [shame. 

More for need than for kindness, pain of 
Howbeit, she cannot lack, for he findeth that 

seeks ; 
Lovers live by love, yea, as larks live by leeks, 
Said this Alice, much more than half in mock- 
Tush ! (quoth mine aunt), these lovers in dot- 
age [courage 
Think the ground bear them not, but wed of 
They must in all haste ; though a leaf of borage 
Might buy all the substance that they can sell. 
Well, aunt, (quoth Alice), all is well that ends 
well. [end ; 
Yea, Alice, of a good beginning cometh a good 
Not so good to borrow, as be able to lend. 
Nay indeed, aunt, (quoth she), it is sure so; 
She must needs grant she hath wrought her 
own woe. [stone, 
She thought, Alice, she had seen far in a mill- 
When she gat a husband, and namely such one, 
As they by wedding could not only nought win, 
But lose both living and love of all their kin. 

26 Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. X. 

Good aunt, (quoth I), humbly^ I beseech ye, 

My trespass done to you forgive it me. 

I know, and knowledge I have wrought mine 

own pain ; 
But things past my hands, I cannot call again. 
True, (quoth Alice), things done cannot be un- 
Be they done in due time, too late, or too soon ; 
But better late than never to repent this. 
Too late, (quoth mine aunt), this repentance 

showed is : 
When the steed is stolen shut the stable durre. 
I took her for a rose, but she breedeth a burr; 
She cometh to stick to me now in her lack ; 
Rather to rent off my clothes fro my back, 
Than to do me one farthing worth of good. 
J see day at this little hole. For this bood 
Showeth what fruit will follow. In good faith, 

I said, 
In way of petition I sue for your aid. 
Ah, well ! (quoth she), now I well understand 
The walking staff hath caught warmth in your 

A clean-fingered huswife, and an idle, folk say, 
And will be lime-fingered, I fear, by my fay ! 
It is as tender as a parson's leman — [than? 
Nought can she do, and what can she have 
As sober as she seemeth, few days come about 
But she will once wash her face in an ale clout. 
And then between her and the rest of the rout, 
/ proud, and thou proud, who shall bear 

th'ashes out? [breathe, 

She may not bear a feather, but she must 
She maketh so much of her painted sheath. 
She thinketh her farthing good silver, I tell 


Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. X. 27 

But, for a farthing, whoever did sell you 
Might boast you to be better sold than bought. 
And yet, though she be worth nought, nor have 

Her gown is gayer and better than mine. 
At her gay gown, (quoth Alice), ye may repine, 
Howbeit, as we may, we love to go gay all. 
Well, well ! (quoth mine aunt), pride will have 

a fall; [after. 

For pride goeth before, and shame cometh 
Sure, (said Alice), in manner of mocking 

laughter, [worse 

There is nothing in this world that agreeth 
Than doth a lady's heart and a beggar's purse. 
But pride she showeth none, her look reason 

alloweth, [mouth. 

She looketh as butter would not melt in her 
Well, the still sow eats up all the draf, Alice ; 
All is not gold that glitters, by told tales. 
In youth she was toward and without evil : 
But soon ripe, soon rotten; young saint, old 

devil — [horns. 

Howbeit, Lo God sendeth the shrewd cow short 
While she was in this house she sat upon 

Each one day was three till liberty was borrow, 
For one month's joy to bring her whole life's 

sorrow. [well ; 

It were pity, (quoth Alice), but she should do 
For beauty and stature she beareth the bell. 
Ill weed groweth fast, Alice : whereby the corn 

is lorne ; 
For surely the weed overgroweth the corn. 
Ye praise the wine before ye taste of the grape ; 
But she can no more harm than can a she ape. 
It is a good body, her property preves 

28 Proverbs, Pt L, Ch. X. 

She lacketh but even a new pair of sleeves. 
If I may, (as they say), tell truth without sin, 
Of truth she is a wolf in a lamb's skin. 
Her heart is full high when her eye is full low — • 
A guest as good lost as found, for all this 

show — 
But many a good cow hath an evil calf. 
I speak this, daughter, in thy mother's behalf, 
My sister, (God rest her soul !) whom, though I 

Was called the flower of honesty in this coast. 
Aunt, (quoth I), I take for father and mother 
Mine uncle and you, above all other. 
When we would, ye would not be our child, 

(quoth she), [we ; 

Wherefore now when ye would, now will not 
Since thou wouldst needs cast away thyself 

Thou shalt sure sink in thine own sin for us. 
Aunt, (quoth I), after a doting or drunken 

Let submission obtain some mercy or meed. 
He that killeth a man when he is drunk, (quoth 

Shall be hanged when he is sober; and he, 
Whom in itching no scratching will forbear, 
He must bear the smarting that shall follow 

And thou, being borne very nigh of my stock, 
Though nigh be my kirtle, yet near is my 

smock — 
I have one of mine own whom I must look to. 
Yea, aunt, (quoth Alice), that thing must ye 

needs do; 
Nature compelleth you to set your own first up ; 
For I have heard say, it is a dear collop 

Proverbs, Pt I., Ch. X. 29 

That is cut out of th'own flesh. But yet, aunt, 
So small may her request be, that ye may 

To satisfy the same, which may do her good, 
And you no harm in th'avancing your own 

blood. [crave, 

And cousin, (quoth she to me), what ye would 
Declare, that our aunt may know what ye 

would have. 
Nay, (quoth I), be they winners or losers, 
Folk say alway beggars should be no 

choosers. [please ; 

With thanks I shall take whatever mine aunt 
Where nothing is, a little thing doth ease ; 
Hunger maketh hard beans sweet; where 

saddles lack, [back. 

Better ride on a pad than on the horse bare 
And by this proverb appeareth this o'thing : 
That alway somewhat is better than nothing. 
Hold fast when ye have it, (quoth she), by my 

life ! [wife, 

The boy thy husband, and thou the girl, his 
Shall not consume that I have laboured for. 
Thou art young enough, and I can work no 

Kit Callot y my cousin, saw this thus far on, 
And in mine aunt's ear she whispereth anon, 
Roundly these words, to make this matter 

whole : 
Aunt, let them that be a-cold blow at the coal. 
They shall for me, Alice, (quoth she), by God's 

blist ! 
She and I have shaken hands : farewell, un- 

kissed ! 
And thus, with a beck as good as a dieu gard, 
She flang fro me, and I from her hitherward. 

30 Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. XI. 

Begging- of her booteth not the worth of a 

bean; [mean. 

Little knoweth the fat sow what the lean doth 
Forsooth ! (quoth I), ye have bestirred ye 

well— [fell? 

But where was your uncle while all this fray 
Asleep by, (quoth she), routing like a hog; 
And it is evil waking of a sleeping dog. 
The bitch and her whelp might have been 

asleep too, 
For ought they in waking to me would do. 
Fare ye well ! (quoth she) ; I will now home 

straight, [wait. 

And at my husband's hands for better news 

Chapter XI. 

He came home to me the next day before noon : 
What tidings now, (quoth I), how have ye 

Upon our departing, (quoth he), yesterday, 
Toward mine uncle's, somewhat more than 

I overtook a man, a servant of his, 
And a friend of mine; who guessed straight 

with this 
What mine errand was, offering in the same 
To do his best for me; and so, in God's name 
Thither we went ; nobody being within 
But mine uncle, mine aunt, and one of our 

kin — 
A mad knave, as it were a railing jester, 
Not a more gaggling gander hence to Chester. 
At sight of me he asked, who have we there? 
I have seen this gentleman, if I wist where ; 
Howbeit, lo ! seldom seen, soon forgotten. 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. XI. 31 

He was, (as he will be), somewhat cupshotten : 
Six days in the week, beside the market day, 
Malt is above wheat with him, market men say. 
But forasmuch as I saw the same taunt 
Contented well mine uncle and mine aunt, 
And that / came to fall in and not to fall out, 
I forbear ; or else his drunken red snout 
I would have made as oft change from hue 

to hue 
As doth the cocks of Ind; for this is true : 
It is a small hop on my thumb ; and Christ wot, 
It is wood at a word — little pot soon hot. 
Now merry as a cricket, and by and by 
Angry as a wasp, though in both no cause why. 
But he was at home there, he might speak his 

will : 
Every cock is proud, on his own dunghill. 
I shall be even with him herein when I can. 
But he, having done, thus mine uncle began : 
Ye merchant ! what attempteth you to attempt 

To come on us before the messenger thus? 
Roaming in and out, I hear tell how ye toss ; 
But son, the rolling stone never gathereth 

Like a pickpurse pilgrim ye pry and ye prowl 
At rovers, to rob Peter and pay Poule. 
Iwys, I know, or any more be told, 
That draf is your errand, but drink ye wolde. 
Uncle, (quoth I), of the cause for which I 

I pray you patiently hear the whole sum. 
In faith ! (quoth he), without any more 

I know to beg of me is thy coming. 
Forsooth ! (quoth his man), it is so, indeed ; 

32 Proverbs, PL I., Ch. XI. 

And I dare boldly boast, if ye knew his need, 
Ye would of pity yet fet him in some stay. 
Son, better be envied than pitied, folk say ; 
And for his cause of pity, (had he had grace), 
He might this day have been clear out of the 

case; [f r °g — 

But now he hath well fished and caught a 
Where nought is to wed with, wise men flee the 

Where I, (quoth I), did not as ye willed or bad, 
That repent I oft, and as oft wish I had. 
Son, (quoth he), as I have heard of mine olders, 
Wishers and woulders be no good house- 
holders : 
This proverb for a lesson, with such other. 
Not like, (as who sayeth), the son of my 

But like mine own son, I oft before told thee 
To cast her quite off ; but it would not hold thee 
When I willed thee any other where to go — 
Tush ! there was no mo maids but malkin 

Ye had been lost to lack your lust when ye list, 
By two miles trudging twice a week to be 

I would ye had kissed — well I will no more stir : 
It is good to have a hatch before the dur. 
But who will, in time present, pleasure refrain 
Shall, in time to come, the more pleasure 

Follow pleasure, and then will pleasure flee; 
Flee pleasure, and pleasure will follow thee. 
And how is my saying come to pass now? 
How oft did I prophesy this between you 
And your ginifinee nycebecetur? [petre? 

When sweet sugar should turn to sour salt- 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. XI. 33 

Whereby ye should in saying that ye never 

Think that you never thought yourself a daw. 
But that time ye thought me a daw, so that I 
Did no good in all my words then, save only 
Approved this proverb plain and true matter : 
A man may well bring a horse to the water, 
But he cannot make him drink without he will. 
Colts, (quoth his man), may prove well with 

tatches ill, 
For of a ragged colt there cometh a good 

horse — 
If he be good now of his ill past no force, [he), 
Well, he that hangeth himself a Sunday, (said 
Shall hang still uncut down a Monday for me. 
J have hanged up my hatchet, God speed him 

well ! [tell : 

A wonder thing what things these old things 
Cat after kind good mouse hunt; and also 
Men say, kind will creep where it may not go. 
Commonly all thing showeth fro whence it 

came ; 
The litter is like to the fire and the dam; 
How can the foal amble if the horse and mare 

These sentences are assigned unto thy lot, 
By conditions of thy father and mother, 
My sister-in-law, and mine own said brother. 
Thou followest their steps as right as a line. 
For when provender prickt them a little tyne, 
They did as thy wife and thou did, both dote 
Each one on other; and being not worth a 

groat, [last, 

They went (witless) to wedding ; whereby, at 
They both went a-begging. And even the like 



34 Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. XI. 

Hast thou ; thou wilt beg or steal ere thou 

die — 
Take heed, friend, I have seen as far come as 

If ye seek to find things ere they be lost, 
Ye shall find one day you come to your cost. 
This do I but repeat, for this I told thee ; 
And more I say ; but I could not then hold thee ; 
Nor will not hold thee now; nor such folly feel, 
To set at my heart that thou settest at thy heel. 
And as of my good ere I one groat give, 
I will see how my wife and myself may live. 
Thou goest a-gleaning ere the cart have carried ; 
But ere thou glean ought, since thou wouldst 

be married, [then? 

Shall I make thee laugh now, and myself weep 
Nay, good child ! better children weep than old 

men. [upon fools ; 

Men should not prease much to spend much 
Fish is cast away that is cast in dry pools. 
To flee charge, and find ease, ye would now 

here host — 
It is easy to cry ble at other men's cost. 
But, a bow long bent, at length must wear 

weak: [break. 

Long bent I toward you, but that bent I will 
Farewell, and feed full, that love ye well to do; 
But you lust not to do that longeth thereto. 
The cat would eat fish and would not wet her 

feet ; [in heat. 

They must hunger in frost that will not work 
And he that will thrive must ask leave of his 

wife ; [life, 

But your wife will give none : by your and her 
It is hard to wive and thrive both in a year. 
Thus, by thy wiving, thriving doth so appear, 

Proverbs, Pt I., Ch. XI. 35 

That thou art past thrift before thrift begin. 
But lo ! will will have will, though will woe 

Will is a good son, and will is a shrewd boy ; 
And wilful shrewd will hath wrought thee this 

A gentle white spur, and at need a sure spear ; 
He standeth now as he had a flea in his ear. 
Howbeit, for any great courtesy he doth make, 
It seemeth the gentle man hath eaten a steak. 
He beareth a dagger in his sleeve, trust me, 
To hill all that he meeteth prouder than he. 
He will perk : I here say he must have the 

bench — [French. 

Jack would be a gentleman if he could speak 
He thinketh his feet be where his head shall 

never come; 
He would fain flee, but he wanteth feathers, 

Sir, (quoth his man), he will no fault defend, 
But hard is for any man all faults to mend — 
He is lifeless, that is faultless, old folks 

thought. [nought. 

He hath, (quoth he), but one fault, he is 
Well, (quoth his man), the best cart may over- 
throw, [though. 
Carts well driven, (quoth he), go long upright, 
But, for my reward, let him be no longer tarrier, 
J will send it him by John Long the carrier. 
O ! help him, sir, (said he), since ye easily may. 
Shameful craving, (quoth he), must have 

shameful nay. [one yea. 

Ye may, sir, (quoth he), mend three nays with 
Two false knaves need no broker, men say, 

(said he). 
Some say also, it is merry when knaves meet; 

D 2 

36 Proverbs, Pt L, Ch. XI. 

But the mo knaves, the worse company to 

greet; [craveth. 

The one knave now croucheth while th'other 
But to show what shall be his relevavith, 
Either after my death, if my will be kept, 
Or during my life : had I this hall hept [eat 
With gold, he may his part on Good Friday 
And fast never the worse, for ought he shall 

geat. [son : 

These former lessons conned, take for this, 
Tell thy cards, and then tell me what thou hast 

Now, here is the door, and there is the way ; 
And so, (quoth he), farewell, gentle Geoffrey I 
Thus parted I from him, being much dismayed, 
Which his man saw, and (to comfort me) said : 
What, man, pluck up your heart, be of good 

cheer ! 
After clouds black, we shall have weather clear. 
What, should your face thus again the wool 

be shorn 
For one fall ? What, man, all this wind shakes 

no corn! 
Let this wind overblow ; a time I will spy 
To take wind and tide with me, and speed 

thereby. [small roast 

I thank you, (quoth I), but great boast and 
Maketh unsavoury mouths, wherever men host. 
And this boast very unfavourly serveth ; 
For while the grass groweth the horse sterveth; 
Better one bird in hand than ten in the wood. 
Rome was not built in one day, (quoth he), and 

yet stood 
Till it was finished, as some say, full fair. 
Your heart is in your hose, all in despair ; 
But, as every man sayeth, a dog hath a day — 

Proverbs, Pt I., Ch. XL 37 

Should you, a man, despair then any day? 

nay ! 
Ye have many strings to the bow, for ye know, 
Though I, having the bent of your uncle's bow, 
Can no way bring your bolt in the butt to stand ; 
Yet have ye other marks to rove at hand. 
The keys hang not all by one man's girdle, 

man ; [can 

Though nought will be won here, I say, yet ye 
Taste other kinsmen ; of whom ye may geat 
Here some, and there some : many small make 

a great. [curses, 

For come light winnings with blessings or 
Evermore light gains make heavy purses. 
Children learn to creep ere they can learn to 


And, little and little, ye must learn even so. 

Throw no gift again at the giver's head; 

For, better is half a loaf than no bread. 

I may beg my bread, (quoth I), for my kin all 

That dwelleth nigh. Well, yet, (quoth he), 
and the worst fall, 

Ye may to your kinsman, hence nine or ten 

Rich without charge, whom ye saw not of long 

That benchwhistler, (quoth I), is a pinchpenny, 

As free of gift as a poor man of his eye. 

I shall get a fart of a dead man as soon 

As a farthing of him; his dole is soon done. 

He is so high in th 'instep, and so straight- 

That pride and covetise withdraweth all repast, 

Ye know what he hath been, (quoth he), but 

Absence sayeth plainly, ye know not what he is. 

38 Proverbs, Pt I., Ch. XI. 

Men know, (quoth I), I have heard now and 

How the market goeth by the market men. 
Further it is said, who that saying weigheth, 
It must needs be true that every man sayeth. 
Men say also : children and fools cannot lie — 
And both man and child sayeth, he is a heinsby. 
And myself knoweth him, I dare boldly brag, 
Even as well as the beggar knoweth his bag. 
And I knew him not worth a grey groat ; 
He was at an ebb, though he be now afloat, 
Poor as the poorest. And now nought he 

By poor folk, For the parish priest forgetteth 
That ever he hath been holy water clerk. 
By ought I can now hear, or ever could mark, 
Of no man hath he pity or compassion. 
Well, (quoth he), every man after his fashion ; 
He may yet pity you, for ought doth appear, 
It happeth in one hour that happeth not in 

seven year. 
Forspeak not your fortune, nor hide not your 

Nought venture, nought have; spare to speak, 

spare to speed; 
Unknown, unkissed; it is lost that is unsought. 
As good seek nought, (quoth I), as seek and 

find nought. 
It is, (quoth he), ill fishing before the net. 
But though we get little, dear bought and far 

Are dainties for ladies. Go we both two; 
I have for my master thereby to do. 
I may break a dish there; and sure I shall 
Set all at six and seven, to win some windfall. 
And I will hang the bell about the cat's neck, 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. XI. 39 

For I will first break and jeopard the first 

check. [mine, 

And for to win this prey, though the cost be 
Let us present him with a bottle of wine. 
What should we, (quoth I), grease the fat sow 

in th'arse, 
We may do much ill, ere we do much wars. 
It is, to give him, as much alms or need, 
As cast water in Thames, or as good a deed 
As it is to help a dog over a stile. [while. 

Then go we, (quoth he), we lese time all this 
To follow his fancy we went together, [thither, 
And toward night yesternight when we came 
She was within, but he was yet abroad, [toad, 
And straight as she saw me she swelled like a 
Pattering the devil's Pater noster to herself : 
God never made a more crabbed elf ! 
She bade him welcome, but the worse for me ; 
This knave cometh a-begging by me, thought 

she. [wind ; 

I smelled her out, and had her straight in the 
She may abide no beggars of any kind. 
They be both greedy guts all given to get 
They care not how : all is fish that cometh to 

net. [ning 

They know no end of their good; nor begin- 
Of any goodness : such is wretched winning. 
Hunger droppeth even out of both their noses. 
She goeth with broken shoon and torn hoses ; 
But who is worse shod than the shoemaker's 

With shops full of new shoes all her life? 
Or who will do less than they that may do 

most ? 
And namely of her I can no way make boast. 
She is one of them to whom God bade ho; 

40 Proverbs, Pt I., Ch. XI. 

She will all have, and will right nought forego ; 
She will not part with the paring of her nails; 
She toileth continually for avails ; 
Which life she hath so long now kept in ure, 
That for no life she would make change, be 

But this lesson learned I, ere I was years seven : 
They that be in hell ween there is none other 

She is nothing fair, but she is ill favoured ; 
And no more uncleanly than unsweet favoured ; 
But hackney men say at mangy hackney's 

hire, [squire. 

A scald horse is good enough for a scabbed 
He is a knucklebone-yard, very meet 
To match a minion nother fair nor sweet. 
He winketh with the tone eye and looketh with 

the tother ; 
I will not trust him though he were my brother. 
He hath a poison wit, and all his delight 
To give taunts and checks of most spiteful 

In that house commonly, such is the cast, 
A man shall as soon break his neck as his fast; 
And yet, now such a gid did her head take, 
That more for my mate's than for manner's 

We had bread and drink, and a cheese very 

great ; 
But the greatest crabs be not all the best meat. 
For her crabbed cheese, with all the greatness, 
Might well abide the fineness, or sweetness. 
Anon he came in ; and when he us saw, 
To my companion kindly he did draw ; 
And a well favoured welcome to him he yields, 
Bidding me welcome strangely over the fields 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. XI. 41 

With these words : Ah, young man ! I know 

your matter; 
By my faith ! you come to look in my water ; 
And for my comfort to your consolation, 
Ye would buy my purse — give me a purgation ! 
But I am laxative enough there otherwise. 
This, (quoth this young man), contrary doth 

For he is purse-sick, and lacketh a physician; 
And hopeth upon you in some condition, 
Not by purgation, but by restorative, 
To strength his weakness to keep him alive. 
I cannot, (quoth he), for though it be my lot 
To have speculation, yet I practise not. 
I see much, but I say little, and do less 
In this kind of physic — and what would ye 

guess : 
Shall I consume myself to restore him now? 
Nay, backare ! (quoth Mortimer to his sow); 
He can, before this time, no time assign, 
In which he hath laid down one penny by mine, 
That ever might either make me bite or sup. 
And by'r lady, friend ! nought lay down, nought 

take up ; 
Ka me, ka thee ; one good turn asketh another ; 
Nought won by the tone, nought won by the 

tother. [miles 

To put me to cost, thou earnest half a score 
Out of thine own nest, to seek me in these out 

isles : 
Where thou wilt not step over a straw, I think, 
To win me the worth of one draught of drink, 
No more than I have won of all thy whole 

I have been common Jack to all that whole 

flock ; 

42 Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. XI. 

When ought was to do I was common 

hackney — 
Folk call on the horse that will carry alway — 
But evermore the common horse is worst shod. 
Desert and reward be ofttimes things far odd; 
At end I might put my winning in mine eye, 
And see never the worse, for ought I wan 

them by. [end, 

And now, without them I live here at stave's 
Where I need not borrow, nor I will not lend. 
It is good to beware by other men's harms; 
But thy taking of thine halter in thine arms 
Teacheth other to beware of their harms by 

thine : 
Thou hast stricken the ball under the line. 
I pray you, (quoth I), pity me, a poor man, 
With somewhat till I may work as I can. 
Toward your working, (quoth he), ye make 

such tastings, 
As approve you to be none of the hastings. 
Ye run to work in haste as nine men held ye; 
But whensoever ye to work must yield ye, 
If your meet-mate and you meet together, 
Then shall we see two men bear a feather; 
Recompensing former loitering life loose, 
As did the pure penitent that stale a goose 
And stack down a feather* And, where old 

folk tell 
That evil gotten good never proveth well; 
Ye will truly get, and true getting well keep 
Till time ye be as rich as a new shorn sheep. 
Howbeit, when thrift and you fell first at a 

fray, [away. 

You played the man, for ye made thrift run 
So help me God ! in my poor opinion, 
A man might make a play of this minion, 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. XI. 43 

And fain no ground, but take tales of his own 

friends : 
J suck not this out of my own fingers' ends. 
And since ye were wed, although 1 nought gave 

you, [you ! 

Yet pray I for you, God and Saint Luke save 
And here is all : for what should I further 

I was neither of court nor of council made; 
And it is, as I have learned in listening, 
A poor dog that is not worth the whistling. 
A day ere I was wed, I bade you, (quoth I). 
Scarb'rough warning I had, (quoth he), where- 
I kept me thence, to serve thee according, [by 
And now, if this night's lodging and boarding 
May ease thee, and rid me from any more 

charge, [large. 

Then welcome ! or else get thee straight at 
For of further reward, mark how I boast me, 
In case as ye shall yield me as ye cost me, 
So shall ye cost me as ye yield me likewise ; 
Which is, a thing of nought rightly to surmise. 
Herewithal, his wife, to make up my mouth, 
Not only her husband's taunting tale avoweth, 
But thereto deviseth to cast in my teeth 
Checks and choking oysters. And when she 

Her time to take up, to show my fare at best : 
Ye see your fare, (said she), set your heart at 

Fare ye well I (quoth I), however I fare now; 
And well mote ye fare both when I dine with 

Come, go we hence, friend ! (quoth I to my 

mate) — 
And now will I make a cross on this gate. 

44 Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. XI. 

And J, (quoth he), cross thee quite out of my 

Since thou art cross failed; avail, unhappy 

hook ! 
By hook or crook nought could I win there; 

men say : 
He that cometh every day x shall have a 

cockney; [hen. 

He that cometh now and then, shall have a fat 
But I gat not so much in coming- seeld when, 
As a good hen's feather, or a poor eggshell: 
As good play for nought as work for nought, 

folk tell. 
Well, well ! (quoth he), we be but where we 

Come what come would, I thought ere we came 

That if the worst fell, we could have but a nay. 
There is no harm done, man, in all this fray; 
Neither pot broken, nor water spilt. 
Farewell, he ! (quoth I), I will as soon be hilt 
As wait again for the moonshine in the water. 
But is not this a pretty piked matter? 
To disdain me, who muck of the world 

hoardeth not, 
As he doeth ; it may rhyme but it accordeth not. 
She foameth like a boar, the beast should seem 

For she is as fierce as a Lion of Cotsolde. 
She frieth in her own grease, but as for my 

If she be angry, beshrew her angry heart ! 
Friend, (quoth he), he may show wisdom at 

will, [still : 

That with angry heart can hold his tongue 
Let patience grow in your garden alway. 

Proverbs, Pt I., Ch. XI. 45 

Some loose or odd end will come, man, some 

one day 
From some friend, either in life or at death. 
Death! (quoth I), take we that time to take 

a breath? 
Then graft we a green graft on a rotten root: 
Who waiteth for dead men shoes shall go long 

Let pass, (quoth he), and let us be trudging 
Where some noppy ale is, and soft sweet 

Be it, (quoth I), but I would very fain eat; 
At breakfast and dinner I eat little meat, 
And two hungry meals make the third a glutton. 
We went where we had boiled beef and bake 
Whereof I fed me as full as a tun; [mutton, 
And a-bed were we ere the clock had nine run. 
Early we rose, in haste to get away; 
And to the hostler this morning, by day, 
This fellow called, What ho I fellow, thou 

knave ! 
I pray thee let me and my fellow have 
A hair of the dog that bit us last night — 
And bitten were we both to the brain aright. 
We saw each other drunk in the good ale glass, 
And so did each one each other, that there was, 
Save one ; but old men say that are skilled : 
A hard foughten field where no man scapeth 

unkilled. [the shot ; 

The reckoning reckoned, he needs would pay 
And needs he must for me, for I had it not. 
This done we shook hands, and parted in fine ; 
He into his way, and I into mine. 
But this journey was quite out of my way : 
Many kinsfolk and few friends, some folk say ; 
But I find many kinsfolk, and friend not one. 

46 Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. XII. 

Folk say — it hath been said many years since 

gone — [deed, 

Prove thy friend ere thou have need; but, in- 
A friend is never known till a man have need. 
Before I had need, my most present foes [goes : 
Seemed my most friends ; but thus the world 
Every man basteth the fat hog we see ; 
But the lean shall burn ere he basted be. 
As sayeth this sentence, oft and long said 

before : 
He that hath plenty of goods shall have more; 
He that hath but a little, he xhall have less, 
He that hath right nought, right nought shall 

possess. [whst obtain, 

Thus, having right nought, and would some- 
With right nought, (quoth he), I am returned 


Chapter XII. 

Surely, (quoth I), ye have in this time, thus 

Made a long harvest for a little corn! 
Howbeit, comfort yourself with this old text, 
That telleth us, when bale is hekst, boot is 

next ; 
Though every man may not sit in the chair, 
Yet alway the grac: of God is worth a fair. 
Take no thought in no case, God is where he 

But put case, in poverty all your life pass, 
Yet poverty and poor degree, taken well, 
Feedeth on this : he that never climbed, never 

fell. [somewhere, 

And some case, at some time, showeth prefe 
That riches bringeth oft harm, and ever fear, 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. XII. 47 

Where poverty passeth without grudge of grie f. 
What, man ! the beggar may sing before the 
And who can sing so merry a note [thief; 

As may he that cannot change a groat? 
Yea, (quoth he), beggars may sing before 

thieves, [greeves. 

And weep before true men, lamenting their 
Some say, and I feel, hunger pierceth stone 

Meat, nor yet money to buy meat withal, 
Have I not so much as may hunger defend 
Fro my wife and me. Well ! (quoth I), God 

will send [see. 

Time to provide for time, right well ye shall 
God send that provision in time! (said he.) 
And thus, seeming well-nigh weary of his life, 
The poor wretch went to his like poor wretched 

wife : [their knees ; 

From wantonness to wretchedness, brought on 
Their hearts full heavy, their heads be full of 

And after this a month, or somewhat less, 
Their landlord came to their house to take a 

For rent ; to have kept Bayard in the stable — 
But that to win, any power was unable. 
For, though it be ill playing with short daggers, 
Which meaneth, that every wise man staggers, 
In earnest or boord to be busy or bold 
With his biggers or betters, yet this is told : 
Whereas nothing is, the king must lose his 

right. [quight. 

And thus, king or keyser, must have set them 
But warning to depart thence they needed none ; 
For, ere the next day, the birds were flown, 

each one 

4 8 Proverbs, Pt L, Ch. XII. 

To seek service; of which, where the man was 

The wife could not speed; but, maugre her 

head, [nigh, 

She must seek elsewhere, for either there or 
Service for any suit she none could espy. 
All folk thought them, not only too lither 
To linger both in one house together ; 
But also, dwelling nigh under their wings, 
Under their noses they might convey things — 
Such as were neither too heavy nor too hot — 
More in a month than they their master got 
In a whole year. Whereto folk further weigh- 

in g"> 
Receive each of other in their conveying, 
Might be worst of all ; for this proverb preeves : 
Where be no receivers, there be no thieves. 
Such hap here hapt, that common dread of such" 

Drove them and keepeth them asunder many 

Thus, though love decree departure death to be, 
Yet poverty parteth fellowship, we see; 
And doth those two true lovers so dissever, 
That meet shall they seeld when, or haply never. 
And thus by love, without regard of living, ^ 
These twain have wrought each other's ill 

chieving ; [friends, 

And love hath so lost them the love of their 
That I think them lostj and thus this tale ends. 

Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. XIII. 49 

Chapter XIII. 

Ah, sir ! (said my friend), when men will needs 

I see now, how wisdom and haste may vary : 
Namely, where they wed for love altogether. 
I would for no good, but I had come hither. 
Sweet beauty with sour beggary! nay I am 

To the wealthy withered widow, by Saint John ! 
What ! yet in all haste, (quoth I) ? Yea ! (q. he) ; 
For she hath substance enough ; and ye see 
That lack is the loss of these two young fools. 
Know ye not, (quoth I), that, after wise men's 

A man should hear all parts ere he judge any ? 
Why axe ye that (quoth he)? For this, (quoth 

I told you, when I this began, that I would 
Tell you of two couples; and I,, having told 
But of the tone, ye be straight starting away, 
As I of the tother had right nought to say ; 
Or, as yourself of them right nought would 

hear. [clear 

Nay, not all so, (quoth he), but since I think 
There can no way appear so painful a life 
Between your young neighbour and his old 

rich wife, 
As this tale in this young poor couple doth 

And *hat the most good or least ill ye know 
To take at end, I was at beginning bent, 
With thanks for this and your more pain to 

Without any more matter now revolved, 


50 Proverbs, Pt. I., Ch. XIII. 

I take this matter here clearly resolved ; 
And that ye herein award me to forsake 
Beggarly beauty, and rivalled riches take. 
That's just, if the half shall judge the whole, 

(quoth I) ; [try. 

But yet, hear the whole, the whole wholly to 
To it (quoth he) then, I pray you, by and by. 
We will dine first, (quoth I), it is noon high. 
We may as well, (quoth he), dine when this 

is done; 
The longer forenoon, the shorter afternoon — 
All cometh to one, and thereby men have 

Alway the longer east, the shorter west. 
We have had, (quoth I), before ye came, and 

Weather meet to set paddocks abrood in: 
Rain more than enough ; and when all shrews 

have dined, 
Change from foul weather to fair is oft inclined. 
And all the shrews in this part, saving one wife 
That must dine with us, have dined, pair of 

my life ! [ing 

Now, if good change of ill weather be depend- 
Upon her diet, what were mine offending 
To keep the woman any longer fasting? 
If ye, (quoth he), fet all this far casting 
For common wealth, as it appeareth a clear 

case, [place. 

Reason would your will should, and shall take 

Thus Endeth the First Part. 


Chapter I. 

Diners cannot be long where dainties want; 
Where coin is not common, commons must he 

In post pace we passed from potage to cheese, 
And yet this man cried : Alas, what time we 

lese ! 
He would not let us pause after our repast ; 
But apart he plucked me straight, and in all 
haste, [maid, 

As I of this poor young man, and poor young 
Or more poor young wife, the foresaid words 

had said, 
So prayeth he me now the process may be told, 
Between th 'other young man, and rich widow- 
If ye lack that, (quoth I), away ye must wind, 
With your whole errand, and half th 'answer 
behind. [you loth, 

Which thing to do, since haste thereto showeth 
And to haste your going, the day away goeth ; 
And that time lost, again we cannot win : 
Without more loss of time, this tale I begin. 
In this late old widow, and then old new wife, 
Age and appetite fell at a strong strife : 
Her lust was as young as her limbs were old. 

E 2 

52 Proverbs, Pt II., Ch. I. 

The day of her wedding, like one to be sold, 

She set out herself in fine apparel. 

She was made like a beer pot, or a barrel; 

A crooked hooked nose, beetle browed, blear 

Many men wished, for beautifying that bride, 
Her waist to be gird in, and for a bon grace, 
Some well favoured visor on her ill favoured 
But with visorlike visage, such as it was, [face. 
She smirked, and she smiled, but so lisped this 

lass, [alone 

That folk might have thought it done only 
Of wantonness, had not her teeth been gone. 
Upright as a candle standeth in a socket 
Stood she that day, so simper-de-cocket. 
Of ancient fathers she took no cure nor care, 
She was to them as coy as a croker's mare. 
She took th 'entertainment of the young men 
All in dalliance, as nice as a nun's hen. 
I suppose that day her ears might well glow, 
For all the town talked of her, high and low. 
One said, a well favoured old woman she is; 
The devil she is, said another; and to this, 
In came the third, with his five eggs, and said, 
Fifty year ago I knew her a trim maid. 
Whatever she were then, (said one), she is now 
To become a bride, as meet as a sow 
To bear a saddle. She is, in this marriage, 
As comely as is a cow in a cage. 
Gup ! with a galled back Gill, come up to 

supper ! [crupper ! 

What? mine old mare would have a new 
And now mine old hat must have a new band I 
Well, (quoth one), glad is he that hath her in 
A goodly marriage she is, I hear say. [hand ; 
She is so, (quoth one), were the woman away. 

Proverbs, Pt II., Ch. I. 53 

Well, (quoth another), fortune this moveth; 
And in this case every man as he loveth 
Quoth the good man when that he kissed his 

cow. [a vow ! 

That kiss, (quoth one), doth well here, by God 
But how can she give a kiss, sour or sweet? — 
Her chin and her nose within half an inch 
God is no botcher, sir ! said another ; [meet. 
He shapeth all parts as each part may fit 

other. [scanning ; 

Well, (quoth one), wisely, let us leave this 
God speed them I be as be may is no banning. 
That shall be, shall be; and with God's grace 

they shall 
Do well, and that they so may, wish we all. 
This wonder, (as wonders last), lasted nine 

days; [their ways, 

Which done, and all guests of this feast gone 
Ordinary household this man straight began 
Very sumptuously, which he might well do 

than. [was set 

What he would have, he might have ; his wife 
In such dotage of him, that fair words did fet 
Gromwell-seed plenty ; and pleasure to prefer, 
She made much of him, and he mocked much 

of her. 
I was, (as I said), much there, and most of all 
The first month; in which time such kindness 

did fall 
Between these two counterfeit turtle birds ; 
To see his sweet looks, and hear her sweet 

words, [ure, 

And to think wherefore they both put both in 
It would have made a horse break his halter 

sure. [taught 

All the first fortnight their ticking might have 

54 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. I. 

Any young- couple their love ticks to have 

wrought. [is green. 

Some laughed, and said : all thing is gay that 

Some thereto said : the green new broom 

sweepeth clean. 
But since all thing is the worse for the wearing , 
Decay of clean sweeping folk had in fearing. 
And indeed, ere two months away were crept, 
And her biggest bags into his bosom swept, 
Where love had appeared in him to her alway 
Hot as a toast, it grew cold as a kay. 
He at meat carving her, and none else before, 
Now carved he to all but her, and her no more. 
Where her words seemed honey, by his smil- 
ing cheer, [hear. 
Now are they mustard, he frowneth them to 
And when she saw sweet sauce began to wax 

She waxed as sour as he, and as well could 

So turned they their tippets by way of ex- 
change, [range 
From laughing to lowering, and taunts did so 
That in plain terms, plain truth to you to utter, 
They two agreed like two cats in a gutter. 
Marry, sir ! (quoth he), by scratching and 
biting [citing. 
Cats and dogs come together, by folks re- 
Together by the ears they come, (quoth I), 

cheerly ; 
Howbeit those words are not void here clearly. 
For, in one state they twain could not yet 

But wavering as the wind : in dock, out nettle. 
Now in, now out; now here, now there; now 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. II. 55 

Now merry; now high, now low; now good, 

now bad. 
In which unsteady sturdy storms strainable, 
To know how they both were irrefrainable, 
Mark how they fell out, and how they fell in: 
At end of a supper she did thus begin. 

Chapter II. 

Husband, (quoth she), I would we were in our 
nest ; [rest. 

When the belly is full, the bones would be at 
So soon upon supper, (said he), no question 
Sleep maketh ill and unwholesome digestion : 
By that diet a great disease once I gat. [that. 
And burnt child fire dreadeth ; I will beware of 
What, a post of physic, (said she)? Yea, a 

And from post to pillar, wife, I have been tossed 
By that surfeit. And I feel a little fit 
Even now, by former attempting of it. 
Whereby, except I shall seem to leave my wit 
Before it leave me, I must now leave it. 
I thank God, (quoth she), I never yet felt pain 
To go to bed timely ; but rising again, 
Too soon in the morning, hath me displeased. 
And I, (quoth he), have been more diseased 
By early lying down, than by early rising. 
But thus differ folk, lo ! in exercising : 
That one may not, another may. 
Use maketh maistry ; and men many times say 
That one loveth not, another doth; which hath 

All meats to be eaten, and all maids to be wed. 
Haste ye to bed now, and rise ye as ye rate ; 

56 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. II. 

While I rise early, and come to bed late. 
Long lying warm in bed is wholesome, (quoth 

she); [(quoth he). 

While the leg warmeth, the boot harmeth, 
Well, (quoth she), he that doeth as most men do, 
Shall be least wondered on; and take any two 
That be man and wife, in all this whole town, 
And most part together they rise and lie down. 
When birds shall roost, (quoth he), at eight, 

nine, or ten, [hen? 

Who shall appoint their hour — the cock, or the 
The hen, (quoth she); the cock, (quoth he); 

just, (quoth she), [(quoth he). 

As Germans lips. It shall prove more just, 
Then prove I, (quoth she), the more fool far 

But there is no fool to the old fool, folk say. 
Ye are wise enough, (quoth he), if ye keep ye 

To be kept warm, and for none other harm, 
Nor for much more good, I took you to wed. 
I took not you, (quoth he), night and day to 

Her carrain carcase, (said he), is so cold 
Because she is aged, and somewhat too old, 
That she killeth me : I do but roast a stone 
In warming her. And shall not I save one, 
As she would save another? Yes, by Saint 

Ah, sir ! (quoth she), marry ! this gear is alone. 
Who that worst may shall hold the candle; I 

see [me. 

I must warm bed for him should warm it for 
This medicine thus ministered is sharp and 

cold ; [told. 

But all thing that is sharp is short, folk have 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. II. 57 

This trade is now begun, but if it hold on, 
Then farewell my good days ! they will be soon 
gone. [break. 

Gospel in thy mouth, (quoth he), this strife to 
Howbeit, all is not gospel that thou dost speak. 
But what need we lump out love, at once lash- 
ing [for dashing? 
As we should now shake hands ? what ! soft 
The fair lasteth all the year; we be new knit, 
And so late met that I fear we part not yet, 
Quoth the baker to the pillory. Which thing, 
From distemperate fonding, temperance may 
bring ; [strong, 
And this reason to aid, and make it more 
Old wise folk say : love me little, love me long. 
I say little, (said she), but I think more; 
Thought is free. Ye lean, (quoth he), to the 

wrong shore. 
Brawling booted not, he was not that night bent 
To play the bridegroom : alone to bed she went. 
This was their beginning of jar. Howbeit, 
For a beginning, this was a feat fit, 
And but a fleabiting to that did ensue — 
The worst is behind; we come not where it 

How say you, (said he to me), by my wife? 
The devil hath cast a bone, (said I), to set strife 
Between you ; but it were a folly for me 
7'e put my hand between the bark and the tree; 
Or to put my finger too far in the fire 
Between you, and lay my credence in the mire. 
To meddle little for me it is best ; 
For of little meddling cometh great rest. 
Yes, ye may meddle, (quoth he), to make her 

Without taking harm, in giving your advice. 

58 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. III. 

She knoweth me not yet; but if she wax too 
wild [child. 

I shall make her know an old knave is no 
Slugging in bed with her is worse than watch- 
ing ; [ing. 
I promise you an old sack axeth much patch- 
Well, (quoth I), to-morrow I will to my beads 
To pray, that as ye both will, so ache your 

heads ; 
And in meantime, my aching head to ease, 
I will couch a hogshead. Quoth he, when ye 

We parted; and this, within a day or twain, 
Was raked up in th'ashes, and covered again. 

Chapter III. 

These two days past, he said to me, when ye 

will [have Jill. 

Come chat at home ; all is well — Jack shall 
Who had the worst end of the staff, (quoth I), 

now ? [y° u ? 

Shall the master wear a breech, or none? say 
I trust the sow will no more so deep root. 
But if she do, (quoth he), you must set in foot; 
And whom ye see out of the way, or shoot 

Over-shoot not yourself any side to hide ; 
But shoot out some words, if she be too hot. 
She may say, (quoth I), a fool's holt soon shot. 
Ye will me to a thankless office hear ; 
And a busy officer I may appear; 
And, Jack out of office, she may bid me walk; 
And think me as wise as Waltham's calf, to 


Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. III. 59 

Or chat of her charge, having therein nought 

to do. 
Howbeit, if I see need, as my part cometh too, 
Gladly between you I will do my best. 
I bid you to dinner, (quoth he), as no guest, 
And bring your poor neighbours on your other 

[ did so. And straight as th'old wife us espied, 
She bade us welcome, and merrily toward me : 
Green rushes for this stranger, straw here, 

(quoth she). 
With this, apart she pulled me by the sleeve, 
Saying in few words : my mind to you to 

So it is, that all our great fray, the last night, 
is forgiven and forgotten between us quite ; 
And all frays by this I trust have taken end, 
For I fully hope my husband will amend. 
Well amended, (thought I), when ye both 

relent, [ment. 

Not to your own, but each to other's mend- 
Now, if hope fail, (quoth she), and chance 

bring about 
Any such breach, whereby we fall again out, 
I pray you tell him he's pars vers, now and 

And wink on me. Also hardly, if ye can 
Take me in any trip. Quoth I, I am loth 
To meddle commonly. For as this tale go'th, 
Who meddleth in all thing may shoe the 

gosling. [bring 

Well ! (quoth she), your meddling herein may 
The wind calm between us, when it else might 

I will, with good will, (quoth I), ill winds to 


60 Proverbs, Pt II., Ch. IV. 

Spend some wind at need, though I waste wind 

in vain. 
To table we sat where fine fare did remain ; 
Merry we were as cup and can could hold; 
Each one with each other homely and bold. 
And she for her part, made us cheer heaven 

The first part of dinner merry as a pie : 
But a scald head is soon broken; and so they, 
As ye shall straight hear, fell at a new fray. 

Chapter IV. 

Husband, (quoth she), ye study, be merry now ; 
And even as ye think now, so come to you. 
Nay, not so, (quoth he), for my thought to tell 

I think how ye lay groaning wife, all last night. 
Husband ! a groaning horse, and a groaning 

wife, [life. 

Never fail their master, (quoth she), for my 
No, wife ! a woman hath nine lives like a cat. 
Well, my lamb ! (quoth she), ye may pick out 

of that, 
As soon goeth the young lamskin to the market 
As th' old ewe's. God forbid, wife ! ye shall 

first jet. 
I will not jet yet, (quoth she), put no doubting : 
It is a bad sack that will abide no clouting. 
And, as we oft see, the lothe stake standeth 

So is it an ill stake, I have heard among, 
That cannot stand one year in a hedge. 
I drink! (quoth she). Quoth he, J will not 


Proverb* Pt II., Ch. IV. 61 

What need all this? a man may love his house 

Though he ride not on the ridge, I have heard 

tell. [stinketh; 

What? I ween, (quoth she), proffered service 
But somewhat it is, I see, when the cat 

winketh, [shun ; 

And both her eyne out; but further strife to 
Let the cat wink, and let the mouse run. 
This passed, and he cheered us all, but most 

On his part, to this fair young wife did appear. 
And as he to her cast oft a loving eye, 
So cast her husband like eye to his plate by ; 
Wherewith in a great musing he was brought. 
Friend ! (quoth the good man), a penny for 

your thought. [dish. 

For my thought, (quoth he) ; that is a goodly 
But of truth I thought : better to have than 

wish. [(quoth he)? 

What ! a goodly young wife, as you have, 
Nay, (quoth he), goodly gilt goblets, as here 

be. [show, 

By'r lady, friends ! (quoth I), this maketh a 
To show you more unnatural than the crow : 
The crow thinketh her own birds fairest in the 

wood. [stood), 

But, by your words, (except I wrong under- 
Each other's birds or jewels, ye do weigh 
Above your own. True, (quoth the old wife), 

ye say ! 
But my neighbour's desire rightly to measure, 
Cometh of need, and not of corrupt pleasure ; 
And my husband's more of pleasure, than of 

need. [best feed; 

Old fish and young flesh, (quoth he), doth men 

62 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. IV. 

And some say, change of pasture maketh fat 

As for that, reason, (quoth she), runneth to 

halves : 
As well for the cow calf as for the bull. 
And though your pasture look barrenly and 

Yet look not on the meat, but look on the man; 
And whoso looketh on you, shall shortly skan. 
Ye may write to your friends that ye are in 

But all thing may be suffered saving wealth. 
An old said saw : itch and ease can no man 

please ; 
Plenty is no dainty ; ye see not your own ease. 
I see, ye cannot see the wood for trees, [sees 
Your lips hang in your light; but this poor man 
Both how blindly ye stand in your own light; 
And that you rose on your right side here right ; 
And might have gone further and have faren 

I wot well I might, (quoth he), for the purse; 
But ye be a baby of Belsabub's bower, [sour ; 
Content ye, (quoth she) ! take the sweet with the 
Fancy may bolt bran and make ye take it flour. 
It will not be, (quoth he), should I die this 

hour, [eye. 

While this fair flower flourisheth thus in mine 
Yes, it might, (quoth she), and hear this reason 

why : 

Snow is white, \ * ■, 7 . •. T . 

a jt\i'\Y j'i. \ And every man lets it he. 
And heth in the dike. ) J 

Pepper is black, \ And every man doth it 

And hath a good smack. J buy. 

Milk, (q' he), is white, \ But all men know it 

And lieth not in the dike.) good meat. 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. IV. 63 

Ink is all black, \ No man will it drink 

And hath an ill smack. J nor eat. 

Thy rhyme, (quoth he), is much older than 

But mine, being newer, is truer than thine. 
Thou likenest now, for a vain advantage, [age, 
White snow to fair youth, black pepper to foul 
Which are placed out of place here, by rood ! 
Black ink is as ill meat, as black pepper is 

good ; [is ill — 

And white milk as good meat, as white snow 
But a milk snow-white, smooth, young skin, 

who change will [face ? 

For a pepper ink-black, rough, old withered 
Though change be no robbery for the changed 

case, [wit. 

Yet shall that change rob the changer of his 
For, who this case searcheth, shall soon see in 

That as well agreeeth thy comparison in these, 
As alike to compare in taste, chalk and cheese; 
Or alike in colour to deem ink and chalk. 
Walk, drab, walk ! Nay, (quoth she), walk, 

knave, walk ! 
Sayeth that term. Howbeit, sir, I say not so ; 
And best we lay a straw here, and even there, 

Or else this gear will breed a pad in the straw ; 
If ye haul this way, I will another way draw. 
Here is God in th'ambry (quoth I) ! Quoth he, 

Here is the devil in th'orologe^ ye may say. 
Since this, (quoth I), rather bringeth bale than 

Wrap it in the cloth, and tread it under foot. 
Ye harp on the string that giveth no melody; 

64 Proverbs, Pt II., Ch. IV. 

Your tongues run before your wits, by Saint 
Antony ! [(quoth he) ; 

Mark ye, how she hitteth me on the thumbs, 
And ye taunt me tit over thumb, (quoth she). 
Since tit for tat, (quoth I), on even hand is set, 
Set the hare's head against the goose giblet. 
She is, (quoth he), bent to force you, perforce 
To know that the grey mare is the better horse. 
She choppeth logic, to put me to my clargy: 
She hath one point of a good hawk; she is 

But wife, the first point of hawking is hold fast. 
And hold ye fast, I rede you, lest ye be cast 
In your own turn. Nay, she will turn the leaf ; 
And rather, (quoth I), take as falleth in the 
sheaf [too bold. 

At your hands; and let fall her hold, than be 
l^ay, I will spit in my hands, and take better 

He, (quoth she), that will be angry without 

Must be at one, without amends ; by sage saws. 
Tread a worm on the tail, and it must turn 

He taketh pepper in the nose, that I complain 
Upon his faults, myself being faultless ; 
But that shall not stop my mouth, ye may well 
guess. [good ; 

Well, (quoth I), too much of one thing is not 
Leave off this ! Be it ! (quoth he), fall we to 

our food ; 
But sufferance is no quittance in this daiment. 
No, (quoth she), nor misreckoning is no pay- 
ment, [friend ; 
But even reckoning maketh long friends, my 
For alway own is own at the reckoning's end. 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. V. 65 

This reckoning thus reckoned, and dinner once 

We three from them twain departed very soon. 

Chapter V. 

This old woman, the next day after this night, 
Stale home to me, secretly as she might, 
To talk with me ; in secret counsel, (she said), 
Of things which in no wise might be bewrayed. 
We twain are one too many, (quoth I), for men 

say : 
Three may a-keep counsel, if two be away. 
But all that ye speak, unmeet again to tell, 
J will say nought but mum, and mum is counsel. 
Well then, (quoth she), herein avoiding all 

fears, [ears. 

Avoid your children : small pitchers have wide 
Which done, (she said), I have a husband, ye 

know, [show. 

Whom I made of nought, as the thing self doth 
And for these two causes only, him I took — 
First, that for my love, he should lovingly look 
In all kind of cause, that love engender might 
To love and cherish me by day and by night ; 
Secondly, the substance, which I to him 

brought, [nought. 

He rather should augment, than bring to 
But now my good, shall both be spent, ye shall 

And it in spending sole instrument shall be 
Of my destruction, by spending it on such 
As shall make him destroy me ; I fear this 

much. [hoop ; 

He maketh havoc, and setteth cock on the 


66 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. V. 

He is so lavish, the stock beginneth to droop; 
And as for gain is dead and laid in tomb, 
When he should get aught, each finger is a 

thumb ; 
Each of his joints against other justles, 
As handsomely as a bear picketh muscles. 
Flattering knaves and flearing queans being the 

mark, [wark. 

Hang on his sleeve : many hands make light 
He hath his hawks in the mew; but, make ye 

With empty hands men may no hawks allure. 
There is a nest of chickens, which he doth 

brood, [hood. 

That will sure make his hair grow through his 
They can curry favel; and make fair weather 
While they cut large thongs of other men's 

He maketh his marts with merchants likely 
To bring a shilling to sixpence quickly. 
If he hold on awhile as he begins, 
We shall see him prove a merchant of eel- 
skins — 
A merchant without either money or ware. 
But all be bug's words, that I speak to spare. 
Better spare at brim than at bottom, say I. 
Ever spare and ever bare, (saith he), by and by. 
Spend, and God shall send, (sayeth he), saith 

th' old ballet, 
What sendeth he, (say I), a staff and a wallet? 
Then up goeth his staff, to send me aloof; 
He is at three words up in the house roof. 
And herein to grow, (quoth she), to conclusion, 
I pray your aid, to avoid this confusion ; 
And for counsel herein, I thought to have gone 
To that cunning man, our curate, Sir John. 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. V. 67 

But this kept me back : I have heard, now and 

The greatest clerks be not the wisest men. 
I think, (quoth I), whoever that term began, 
Was neither great clerk, nor the greatest wise 

In your running from him to me, ye run 
Out of God's blessing into the warm sun. 
Where the blind leadeth the blind, both jail in 

the dike; 
And, blind be we both, if we think us his like. 
Folk show much folly, when things should be 

To run to the foot that may go to the head. 
Since he best can, and most ought, to do it, 
I fear not, but he will, if ye will woo it. 
There is one let, (quoth she), mo than I spake 

on : 
My husband and he be so great, that the ton 
Cannot piss but the tother must let a fart. 
Choose we him aparty, then farewell my part ; 
We shall so part stake, that I shall lese the 

whole. [sole. 

Folk say of old : the shoe will hold with the 
Shall I trust him, then? nay, in trust is treason. 
But I trust you, and come to you this season 
To hear me, and tell me, what way ye think 

To hem in my husband, and set me in rest. 
If ye mind, (quoth I), a conquest to make 
Over your husband, no man may undertake 
To bring you to ease, nor the matter amend 
Except ye bring him to wear a cock's comb at 

For, take that your husband were, as ye take 


F 2 

68 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. V. 

As I take him not, as your tale would make 

Yet were contention like to do nought in this 
But keep him nought, and make him worse 

than he is. [clear, 

But, in this complaint for counsel quick and 
A few proverbs for principles, let us hear : 
Who that may not as they would, will as they 

may; [obey. 

And this to this : they that are bound must 
Folly it is to spurn against a prick; 
To strive against the stream, to winch or kick 
Against the hard wall. By this ye may see, 
Being bound to obedience, as ye be, 
And also overmatched, sufferance is your dance. 
He may overmatch me, (quoth she), perchance 
In strength of body, but my tongue is a limb 
To match and to vex every vein of him. 
Tongue breaketh bone, itself having none, 

(quoth I) ; [awry. 

If the wind stand in that door, it standeth 
The peril of prating out of tune by note, 
Telleth us that a good bestill is worth a groat; 
In being your own foe, you spin a fair thread. 
Advise ye well, for here doth all lie and bleed; 
Flee th f attempting of extremities all. 
Folk say : better sit still than rise and fall. 
For little more or less no debate make; 
At every dog's bark seem not to awake. 
And where the small with the great cannot 

The weaker goeth to the pot, we all day see. 
So that alway the bigger eateth the bean — 
Ye can nought win, by any wayward mean. 
Where the hedge is lowest men may soonest 

over : 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. V. 69 

Be silent ! let not your tongue run at rover ; 
Since by strife ye may lose, and cannot win, 
Suffer ! it is good sleeping in a whole skin. 
If he chide, keep you bill under wing mute; 
Chatting to chiding is not worth a chut. 
We see many times, might overcometh right — 
Were not you as good then to say the crow is 

white ? 
And so, rather let fair words make fools fain. 
Than be plain without pleats, and plant your 

own pain. 
For, were ye as plain as Dunstable highway, 
Yet should ye that way rather break a love day, 
Than make one thus ; though ye perfectly knew 
All that ye conjecture to be proved true. 
Yet better dissemble it, and shake it off, 
Than to broid him with it in earnest or scoff. 
If he play falsehed in fellowship, play ye 
See me and see me not; the worst part to flee. 
Why, think ye me so white-livered, (quoth 

she), _ [ye 

That I will be tongue-tied? Nay, I warrant 
They that will be afraid of every fart 
Must go far to piss. Well, (quoth I), your 

Is to suffer (I say) ; for ye shall preeve 
Taunts appease not things ; they rather 

But for ill company, or expense extreme, 
I here no man doubt, so far as ye deem ; 
And there is no fire without some smoke, we 

see. [she) ; 

Well, well ! make no fire, raise no smoke, (said 
What cloak for the rain soever ye bring me, 
Myself can tell best where my shoe doth wring 


70 Proveibs, Pt. II., Ch. V. 

But as ye say : where fire is smoke will appear. 
And so hath it done; for I did lately hear 
How flek and his make use their secret haunt- 
ing. _ [fag. 
By one bird, that in mine ear was late chaunt- 
One swallow maketh not summer, (said I), men 
sa y- . [lay, 
I have, (quoth she), mo blocks in his way to 
For further increase of suspicion of ills : 
Beside his jetting into the town to his gills, 
With callets he consumeth himself and my 

goods ; 
Sometime in the fields, sometime in the woods, 
Some hear and see him whom he heareth nor 
seeth not — [wot ; 

But fields have eyes and woods have ears, ye 
And also on my maids he is ever tooting. 
Can ye judge a man, (quoth I), by his looking? 
What, a cat may look on a king, ye know ! 
My cat's leering look, (quoth she), at first 

Showeth me that my cat goeth a catterwawing ; 
And specially by his manner of drawing 
To Madge, my fair maid; for may he come 

nigh her 
He must needs bass her, as he cometh by her. 
He loveth well sheep's flesh, that wets his 

bread in the wool — 
If he leave it not, we have a crow to pull. 
He loveth her better at the sole of the foot 
Than ever he loved me at the heart root. 
It is a foul bird that fileth his own nest; 
I would have him live as God's law hath ex- 
And leave lewd ticking : he that will none ill do 
Must do nothing that belongeth thereto; 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. V. 71 

To tick and laugh with me he hath lawful leave. 
To that I said nought, but laughed in my 

sleeve ; 
But when she seemed to be fixed in mind, 
Rather to seek for that she was loth to find, 
Than leave that seeking, by which she might 

find ease, 
I fained this fancy, to feel how it would please. 
Will ye do well? (quoth I), take pain to watch 

him ; 
And if ye chance in advoutry to catch him, 
Then have ye him on the hip, or on the hurdle; 
Then have ye his head fast under your girdle; 
Where your words now do but rub him on the 

g al h [wall. 

That deed without words shall drive him to the 
And further than the wall he cannot go, 
But must submit himself; and if it hap so 
That at end of your watch he guiltless appear, 
Then all grudge, grown by jealousy, taketh 

end clear. [she); 

Of all folks I may worst watch him, (said 
For of all folks himself most watcheth me; 
I shall as soon try him, or take him this way, 
As drive a top over a tiled house : no, nay ! 
I may keep corners or hollow trees with th' owl, 
This seven years, day and night to watch a 

Before I shall catch him with undoubted evil. 
He must have a long spoon shall eat with the 
And the devil is no falser than is he. [devil; 

I have heard tell, it had need to be [ear 

A wily mouse that should breed in the cat's 
Shall I get within him then? nay, ware that 

gear ! 
It is hard halting before a cripple, ye wot; 

72 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. V. 

A falser water drinker there liveth not. 
When he hunteth a doe that he cannot avow, 
All dogs bark not at him, I warrant yow. 
Namely not I, I say, though as I said, 
He sometime, though seldom, by some be be- 
wrayed, [loweth; 
Close hunting, (quoth I), the good hunter al- 
But, be your husband never so still of mouth, 
If ye can hunt, and will stand at receipt, 
Your maid examined, maketh him open 

straight. [preef, 

That were, (quoth she), as of my truth to make 
To axe my fellow whether I be a thief. 
They cleave together like burrs; that way I 

Pike out no more than out of the stone wall. 
Then like ye not to watch him for wife nor 

maid? [I said ; 

No ! (quoth she). Nor I, (quoth I), whatever 
And I mislike not only your watch in vain, 
But also, if ye took him, what could ye gain? 
From suspicion to knowledge of ill, forsooth ! 
Could make ye do but as the flounder doeth — 
Leap out of the frying pan into the fire; 
And change from ill pain to worse is worth 

small hire. [doubt; 

Let time try ! Time trieth truth in every 
And deem the best till time hath tried the truth 

And reason sayeth : make not two sorrows of 

But ye make ten sorrows where reason maketh 

none. [wink 

For where reason, (as I said), willeth you to 
(Although all were proved as ill as ye think), 
Contrary to reason ye stamp and ye stare; 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. V. 73 

Ye fret and ye fume, as mad as a March hare, 
Without proof to his reproof, present or past, 
But by such report as most prove lies at last. 
And here goeth the hare away ; for ye judge all, 
And judge the worst in all, ere proof in ought 

fall. [saws ; 

But blind men should judge no colours : by old 
And folk ofttimes are most blind in their own 

cause — 
The blind eat many flies. Howbeit, the fancy 
Of your blindness cometh not of ignorancy. 
Ye could tell another herein the best way ; 
But it is as folk do, and not as folk say ; 
For they say, saying and doing are two things 
To defend danger that double dealing brings : 
As ye can seem wise in words, be wise in deed. 
That is, (quoth she), sooner said than done y I 

drede ; 
But methinketh your counsel weigheth in the 

To make me put my finger in a hole ; 
And so, by sufferance, to be so lither 
In my house to lay fire and tow together. 
But if they fire me, some of them shall win 
More tow on their distaves than they can well 

spin; [hands full — 

And the best of them shall have both their 
Bolster or pillow for me, be whose wull. 
I will not bear the devil's sack, by Saint 

Audry ! 
For concealing suspicion of their baudry. 
I fear false measures, or else I were a child ; 
For they that think none ill, are soonest be- 
And thus, though much water goeth by the mill 
That the miller knoweth not of, yet I will 

74 Proverbs, PL II., Ch. VI. 

Cast what may scape; and, as though I did 

find it, 
With the clack of my mill to fine meal grind it. 
And sure ere I take any rest in effect, 
I must banish my maids such as I suspect : 
Better it be done than wish it had been done. 
As good undone, (quoth I), as do it too soon. 
Well, (quoth she), till soon, fare ye well ! and 

Keep ye as secret as ye think meet is. 
Out at doors went she herewith ; and hereupon 
In at doors came he forthwith, as she was 

And, without any temperate protestation, 
Thus he began, in way of exclamation. 

Chapter VI. 

Oh ! what choice may compare to the devil's 

Like his that have chosen a devil to his wife? 
Namely, such an old witch, such a macka- 

As evermore like a hog hangeth the groyne 
On her husband, except he be her slave, 
And follow all fancies that she would have. 
'Tis said : there is no good accord 
Where every man would be a lord. 
Wherefore, my wife will be no lord, but lady, 
To make me, that should be her lord, a baby. 
Before I was wedded, and since, I made 

To make my wife bow at every beckoning. 
Bachelors boast how they will teach their 

wives good; 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. VI. 75 

But many a man speaketh of Robin Hood 
That never shot in his bow. When all is 

sought, [taught. 

Bachelors' wives, and maids' children be well 
And this with this, I also begin to gather : 
Every man can rule a shrew, save he that hath 

her. [like wax ; 

At my will I weened she should have wrought 
But I find and feel she hath found such knacks 
In her bovget, and such toys in her head, 
That to dance after her pipe I am nigh led. 
It is said of old : an old dog biteth sore; 
But, by God ! th' old bitch biteth sorer and 

more ; [her tongue. 

And not with teeth — (she hath none) — but with 
If all tales be true, (quoth I), though she be 

stung - , [blame ; 

And thereby sting you, she is not much to 
For, whatever you say, thus goeth the same. 
When folk first saw your substance laid in 

your lap, [good hap, 

Without your pain, with your wife brought by 
Oft in remembrance of haps happy device 
They would say : better to be happy than wise; 
Not minding thereby then to deprave your wit, 
For they had good hope to see good proof of it. 
But since their good opinion therein so cools, 
That they say as oft : God sendeth fortune to 

fools ; 
In that, as fortune without your wit gave it, 
So can your wit not keep it when ye have it. 
Sayeth one : this gear was gotten on a holy 

Sayeth another : who may hold that will away. 
This game, from beginning, showeth what end 

is meant: 

76 Proverbs, Pt II., Ch. VI 

Soon gotten, soon spent; ill gotten, ill spent. 
Ye are called not only too great a spender, 
Too frank a giver, and as free a lender ; 
But also, ye spend, give, and lend, among such 
Whose lightness minisheth your honesty as 

As your money ; and much they disallow 
That ye brike all from her, that brought all to 

yow ; 
And spend it out at doors, in spite of her, 
Because ye would kill her to be quit of her. 
For all kindness, of her part, that may rise, 
Ye show all th' unkindness ye can devise. 
And where reason and custom, (they say), 

Alway to let the losers have their words, 
Ye make her a cuckquean and consume her 

And she must sit like a bean in a monk's hood. 
Bearing no more rule than a goose turd in 

Thames ; 
But, at her own maids' becks, wings, or hems, 
She must obey those lambs, or else a lambskin 
Ye will provide for her, to lap her in. [say ; 

This biteth the mare by the thumb, as they 
For were ye, touching condition, (say they), 
The castle of honesty in all things else, 
Yet should this one thing, as their whole tale 

Defile and deface that castle to a cottage — 
One crop of a turd marreth a pot of potage. 
And some to this cry, Let him pass, for we 
think [stink. 

The more we stir a turd, the worse it will 
With many conditions good, one that is ill 
Defaceth the flower of all, and doth all spoil. 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. VII. 77 

Now, (quoth I), if you think they truly clatter, 
Let your amendment amend the matter : 
Half warned, half armed. This warning- for 
this I show, [know. 

He that hath an ill name is half hanged, ye 

Chapter VII. 

Well said ! (said he). Marry, sir ! here is a 

tale — 
For honesty, meet to set the devil on sale. 
But now am I forced a bead roll to unfold, 
To tell somewhat more to the tale I erst told. 
Grow this, as most part doth, I durst hold my 

Of the jealousy of dame Julok, my wife, 
Then shall ye wonder, when truth doth define, 
How she can, and doth here both bite and 

Frenzy, heresy, and jealousy are three, 
That men say hardly, or never, cured be. 
And although jealousy need not or boot not, 
What helpeth that counsel, if reason root not? 
And in mad jealousy she is so far g-one 
She thinketh I run over all that I look on. 
Take good heed of that, (quoth I), for at a 

word, [sword 

The proverb saith : he that striketh with the 
Shall be stricken with the scabbard. Tush ! 

(quoth he), 
The devil with my scabbard will not strike me ; 
But, my dame taking- suspicion for full prefe, 
Reporteth it for a truth to the most mischief. 
In words gold and whole, as men by wit could 


78 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. VII. 

She will lie as fast as a dog will lick a dish. 
She is, of truth, as false as God is true; 
And, if she chance to see me, at a view, 
Kiss any of my maids alone, but in sport, 
That taketh she in earnest, after Bedlam sort. 
The cow is wood; her tongue runneth on pat- 
tens ; 
If it be morn, we have a pair of matins ; 
If it be even, evensong, not Latin nor Greek, 
But English, and like that as in Easter week. 
She beginneth, first with a cry a leison ; 
To which she ringeth a peal, a larum ; such one 
As folk ring bees with basins — the world run- 

neth on wheels. 

But except her maid show a fair pair of heels, 

She haleth her by the boy rope, till her brains 

ache. [make — 

And bring I home a good dish, good cheer to 

What is this? (saith she). Good meat, (say I), 

for yow ! [sow ! 

God have mercy, horse! a pig of mine own 

Thus when I see by kindness ease reneweth 

not, [reweth not; 

And then, that the eye seeth not, the heart 

And that he must needs go whom the devil doth 

drive ; 
Her force forcing me, for mine ease to contrive 
To let her fast and fret alone for me, 
I go where merry chat and good cheer may be. 
Much spend I abroad, which at home should 

be spent 
If she would leave controlling and be content. 
There leaped a whiting, (quoth she), and ieaped 
in straight ; [ceit. 

Take a hair from his beard, and mark this con- 
He maketh you believe, by lies laid on by load, 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. VII. 


My brawling at home maketh him banquet 
abroad. [home. 

Where his banquets abroad make me brawl at 
For, as in a frost, a mud wall made of loam 
Cracketh and crummeth in pieces asunder, 
So melteth his money, to the world's wonder. 
Thus may ye see, to turn the cat in the pan, 
Or set the cart before the horse, well he can; 
He is but little at home, the truth is so ; 
And, forth with him, he will not let me go ; 
And if I come to be merry where he is, 
Then is he mad, as ye shall hear by this. 
Where he, with gossips at a banquet late was, 
At which, as use is, he paid all — but let pass ! 
I came to be merry ; wherewith merrily : 
Proface ! Have among you blind harpers, (said 

! )- 

The mo the merrier, we all day hear and see. 
Yea, but the fewer the better fare, (said he). 
Then here were, ere I came, (quoth I), too 

many ; 
Here is but little meat left, if there be any. 
And it is ill coming, I have heard say, 
To th' end of a shot and beginning of a fray. 
Put up thy purse, (quoth he), thou shalt none 

pay ; [thy way. 

And fray here should be none were thou gone 
Here is, since thou earnest, too many feet 

a-bed; [errand sped. 

Welcome ! when thou goest : thus is thine 
I come, (quoth I), to be one here, if I shall — 
It is merry in hall when beards wag all. 
What, bid me welcome, pig? I pray thee kiss 

me \ 
Nay, farewell, sow ! (quoth he), our Lord bliss 

80 Proverbs, Pt II., Ch. VII. 

From bassing of beasts of Bearbinder Lane. 
I have, (quoth I), for fine sugar, fair rat's-bane. 
Many years since, my mother said to me, 
Her elders would say : it is better to be 
An old man's darling than a young man's war- 
And God knoweth ! I knew none of this snarl- 
In my old husband's days; for, as tenderly 
He loved me as ye love me slenderly ; 
We drew both in one line. Quoth he, would 
to our lord [cord. 

Ye had, in that drawing, hanged both in one 
For I never meet thee at flesh, nor at fish, 
But I have sure a dead man's head in my dish; 
Whose best and my worst day, that wish might 

Was when thou didst bury him and marry me. 
If you, (quoth I), long for change in those 

Would to God he and you had changed places ! 
But best I change place, for here I may be 

And for my kind coming, this is my reward. 
Claw a churl by th' arse, and he shitteth in my 
hand ; [band. 

Knack me that nut, much good doyt you all this 
Must she not, (quoth he), be welcome to us all, 
Among us all, letting such a farewell fall? 
Such carpenters, such chips, (quoth she) ; folk 
tell ; [farewell. 

Such lips, such lettuce; such welcome, such 
Thine own words, (quoth he), thine own wel- 
come marr'd. [jarr'd, 
Well, (said she), whensoever we twain have 
My words be pried at narrowly, I espy. 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. VII. 81 

Ye can see a mote in another man's eye, 

But ye cannot see a balk in your own. 

Yea, mark my words, but not that they be 

By your revellous riding- on every royle ; 
Well nigh every day a new mare or a moyle, 
As much unhonest, as unprofitable, 
Which shall bring us shortly to be unable 
To give a dog a loaf, as I have oft said. 
Howbeit, your pleasure may no time be denied, 
But still you must have both the finest meat, 
Apparel, and all thing that money may geat; 
Like one of fond fancy so fine and so neat 
That would have better bread than is made of 

The best is best cheap, (quoth he), men say 

Well, (quoth she), a man may buy gold too 

Ye nother care, nor wellnigh cast what ye pay, 
To buy the dearest for the best alway. 
Then for your diet who useth feeding such, 
Eat more than enough, and drink much more 

too much. [school : 

But temperance teacheth this, where he keepeth 
He that knoweth when he hath enough is no 

Feed by measure, and defy the physician; 
And, in the contrary, mark this condition : 
A swine over fat is cause of his own bane; 
Who seeth nought herein, his wit is in the 

But pompous provision, cometh not all, alway 
Of gluttony, but of pride sometime, some say. 
But this proverb preacheth to men haut or 



82 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. VII. 

Hew not too high lest the chips fall in thine eye. 
Measure is a merry mean, as this doth show : 
Not too high for the pye, nor too low for the 

The difference between staring and stark blind 
The wise man at all times to follow can find; 
And i-wis an auditor of a mean wit, [yit ; 

May soon accompt, though hereafter come not 
Yet is he sure, be the day never so long, 
Evermore at last they ring to evensong. 
And where ye spend much though ye spent but 

Yet little and little the cat eateth the flickle; 
Little loss by length may grow importable; 
A mouse in time may bite a-two a cable. 
Thus, to end of all things, be we lief or loth, 
Yet lo, the pot so long to the water goeth, 
Till at the last it cometh home broken; 
Few words to the wise suffice to be spoken. 
If ye were wise, here were enough, (quoth she). 
Here is enough, and too much, dame, (quoth 

For, though this appear a proper pulpit piece, 
Yet when the fox preacheth then beware your 

A good tale ill told, in the telling is marred. 
So are, (quoth she), good tales well told, and 

ill heard. [wit, wife : 

Thy tales, (quoth he), show longhair, and short 
But long be thy legs, and short be thy life. 
Pray for yourself! I am not sick, (quoth she). 
Well let's see, what thy last tale cometh to, 

(quoth he) : [wander ; 

Thou sayest I spend all; to this, thy words 
But, as deep drinketh the goose as the gander. 
Thou canst cough in the aumbry, if need be, 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. VII. 83 

When I shall cough without bread or broth for 

Whereby, while thou sendest me abroad to 

Thou gossipest at home to meet me at land's 

end. [mean — 

Ah ! then I beguile you, (quoth she), this ye 
But sir ! my pot is whole, and my water clean. 
Well, thou wouldst have me, (quoth he), pinch 

like a snudge, 
Every day to be thy drivel and drudge. 
Not%o, (quoth she), but I would have ye stir 
Honestly ; to keep the wolf from the dur. 
I would drive the wolf out at door first, (quoth 

And that can I not do, till I drive out thee. 
A man were better be drowned in Venice gulf 
Than have such a bearded bear, or such a wolf ! 
But had I not been witched, my wedding to 

flee, [me. 

The terms that long to wedding had warned 
First, wooing for woeing ; banna for banning ; 
The banns for my bane ; and then this, thus 

scanning — 
Marrying marring. And what married I than? 
A woman ! As who saith, woe to the man ! 
Thus wed I with woe, wed I Jill, wed I Jane — 
I pray God, the devil go with thee down the 

lane! [agreed), 

I grant, (quoth she), this doth sound, (as ye 
On your side in words, but on my side in deed. 
Thou grant'st this grant, (quoth he), without 

any grace ; 
Ungraciously, to thy side, to turn this case. 
Leave this, (quoth she), and learn liberality 
To stint strife, grown by your prodigality. 

G 2 

84 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. VII. 

Oft said the wise man, whom I erst did bury : 
Better are meals many than one too merry. 
Well, (quoth he), that is answered with this, 

wife : [whole life. 

Better is one month's cheer than a churl's 
I think it learning of a wiser lectour, 
To learn to make myself mine own exectour, 
Than spare for another that might wed thee, 
As the fool, thy first husband, spared for me. 
And as for ill places, thou seekest me in mo, 
And in worse too, than I into any go. 
Whereby this proverb showeth thee in by the 

week : 
No man will another in the oven seek 
Except that himself have been there before. 
God give grace thou hast been good ! I say no 

more; [couldst prove 

And would have thee say less except thou 
Such process as thou slanderously dost move. 
For slander, perchance, (quoth she), I not deny 
It may be a slander, but it is no lie. 
It is a lie, (quoth he), and thou a liar ! 
Will ye, (quoth she), drive me to touch ye 

nigher? [yit 

I rub the galled horse back till he winch ; and 
He would make it seem that I touch him no 

whit. [make : 

But I wot what I wot, though I few words 
Many kiss the child for the nurse's sake. 
Ye have many good children to look upon, 
And ye bless them all, but ye bass but one. 
This half showeth, what the whole meaneth, 

that I meve, 
Ye fet circumquaques to make me believe, 
Or think, that the moon is made of a green 


Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. VII. 8 5 

And when ye have made me a lout in all these, 
It seemeth ye would make me go to bed at 

Nay, (quoth he), the day of doom shall be done 
Ere thou go to bed at noon, or night, for me. 
Thou art, to be plain, and not to natter thee, 
As wholesome a morsel for my comely corse 
As a shoulder of mutton for a sick horse. 
The devil with his dam hath more rest in hell 
Than I have here with thee; but well, wife, 

well ! [buckets. 

Well, well ! (quoth she), many wells, many 
Yea ! (quoth he), and many words, many 

buffets. [thus, 

Had you some husband, and snapped at him 
Iwys he would give you a recumbentibus. 
A dog will bark ere he bite, and so thou 
After thy. barking wilt bite me, I trow now; 
But it is hard to make an old dog stoop, lo ! 
Sir, (quoth she), a man may handle his dog so 
That he may make him bite him, though he 

would not. [wives scold not; 

Husbands are in heaven, (quoth he), whose 
Thou makest me claw where it itcheih not. I 

would [cold ; 

Thy tongue were cooled to make thy tales more 
That aspen leaf, such spiteful clapping have 

That my cap is better at ease than my head. 
God send that head, (said she), a better nurse ! 
For when the head acheth all the body is the 

God grant, (quoth I), the head and body, both 

To nurse each other better than they do : 
Or ever have done for the most times past. 

86 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. VII. 

I brought to nurse both, (quoth she), had it not 

been waste. [meal; 

Margery, good cow, (quoth he), gave a good 
But then she cast it down again with her heel. 
How can her purse for profit be delightful 
Whose person and properties be thus spiteful? 
A piece of a kid is worth two of a cat — 
Who the devil will change a rabbit for a rat? 
If I might change, I would rather choose to 

Or sit with a roasted apple or an egg 
Where mine appetite serveth me to be, 
Than every day to fare like a duke with thee ! 
Like a duke? like a duck! (quoth she), thou 

shalt fare, [yet spare. 

Except thou wilt spare, more than thou dost 
Thou farest too well, (quoth he), but thou art 

so wood, [doth thee good. 

Thou knowest not who doth thee harm, who 
Yes, yes ! (quoth she), for all those wise words 

/ know on which side my bread is buttered; 
But there will no butter cleave on my bread, 
And on my bread any butter to be spread ; 
Every promise that thou therein dost utter, 
Is as sure as it were sealed with butter, 
Or a mouse tied with a thread. Every good 

Thou lettest even slip, like a waghalter slip- 
But take up in time, or else I protest, [string. 
All be not a-bed that shall have ill rest. 
Now, go to thy darlings, and declare thy grief, 
Where all thy pleasure is : hop whore, pipe 


Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. VIII. 87 

Chapter VIII. 

With this, thence hopped she; wherewith, O 
Lord ! he cried, [bide? 

What wretch but I this wretchedness could 
Howbeit, in all this woe, I have no wrong; 
For it only is all on myself along. 
Where J should have bridled her first with 

rough bit, 
To have made her chew on the bridle one fit, 
For lickorous lucre of a little winning, 
I gave her the bridle at beginning ; 
And now she taketh the bridle in the teeth, 
And runneth away with it; whereby each man 

It is, (as old men right well understand), 
III putting a naked sword in a madman's hand. 
She taketh such heart of grace that though I 

maim her, 
Or kill her, yet shall I never reclaim her. 
She hath, (they say), been s*iff-necked ever- 
And it is ill healing of an old sore. 
This proverb prophesied many years agone : 
It will not out of the flesh that is bred in the 
bone. [sort 

What chance have I, to have a wife of such 
That will no fault amend, in earnest nor sport? 
A small thing amiss lately I did espy, 
Which to make her mend, by a jest merrily, 
I said but this : taunt tivet, wife, your nose 

drops ; 
So it may fall, I will eat no browesse sops 
This day. But two days after this came in ure, 
I had sorrow to my sops enough, be sure ! 

88 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. VIII. 

Well ! (quoth I), it is ill jesting on the sooth; 
Sooth bourd is no bourd, in ought that mirth 

Such jests could not juggle her, were ought 

Nor turn melancholy to mirth ; for it is 
No playing with a straw before an old cat. 
Every trifling toy age cannot laugh at ; 
Ye may walk this way, but sure ye shall find 
The further ye go, the further behind. 
Ye should consider the woman is old : [cold ! 
And what for? a hot word? soon hot, soon 
Bear with them that bear with you, and she is 

Not only the fairest flower in your garland, 
But also she is all the fair flowers thereof : 
Will ye requite her then with a taunting scoff? 
Or with any other kind of unkindness? [ness ! 
Take heed is a fair thing: beware this blind- 
Why will ye, (quoth he), I shall follow her will? 
To make me John Drawlatch, or such a sneak- 
To bring her solace that bringeth me sorrow? 
By 'r lady ! then we shall catch birds to-morrow : 
A good wife maketh a good husband, (they 

That, (quoth I), ye may turn another way : 
To make a good husband, make a good wife; 
I can no more herein, but God stint all strife ! 
Amen ! (quoth he), and God have mercy, 

brother ! 
/ will now mend this house and pair another. 
And that he meant, of likelihood, by his own; 
For, so apaired he that, ere three years were 

That little and little he decayed so long, 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. IX. 89 

Till he at length came to buckle and bare 

To discharge charge, that necessarily grew, 
There was no more water than the ship drew. 
Such drifts drave he, from ill to worse and 
Till he was as bare as a bird's arse. [worse, 
Money, and money worth, did so miss him 
That he had not now one penny to bliss him; 
Which, foreseen in this woman, wisely weigh- 
ing [ing, 
That meet was to stay somewhat for her stay- 
To keep yet one mess for Alison in store, 
She kept one bag that he had not seen before : 
A poor cook that may not lick his own fingers. 
But about her at home now still he lingers, 
Not checker a-boord, all was not clear in the 

He looked like one that had beshit the roast. 
But whether any secret tales were sprinkling, 
Or that he by guess had got an inkling 
Of her hoard ; or that he thought to amend, 
And turn his ill beginning to a good end 
In showing himself a new man, as was fit, 
That appeared shortly after, but not yet. 

Chapter IX. 

One day in their arbour — which stood so to 

That I might, and did, closely mine ear incline, 
And likewise cast mine eye, to hear and see 
What they said and did, where they could not 
He unto her a goodly tale began, [see me — 
More like a wooer than a wedded man. 
As ferre as matter thereof therein served 

90 Proverbs, Pt II., Ch. IX. 

But the first part from words of wooing 

And stood upon repentance, with submission 
Of his former crooked unkind condition ; 
Praying- her to forgive and forget all, free 
And he forgave her as he forgiven would be ; 
Loving her now, as he full deeply swore, 
As hotly as ever he loved her before. 
Well, well ! (quoth she), whatever ye now say, 
It is too late to call again yesterday. 
Wife ! (quoth he), such may my diligence seem 
That th 'offence of yesterday I may redeem; 
God taketh me as I am, and not as I was — 
Take you me so too, and let all things past 
pass. [think plain : 

I pray thee, good wife ! think I speak and 
What ! he runneth far that never turneth again. 
Ye be young enough to mend, I agree it; 
But I am, (quoth she), too old to see it; 
And amend ye or not, I am too old a year 
What is life where living is extinct clear? 
Namely at old years of least help and most 
need ; [heed. 

But no tale could tune you in time to take 
If I tune myself now, (quoth he), it is fair; 
And hope of true tune shall tune me from de- 
spair, [(said she); 
Believe well, and have well, men say ; yea, 
Do well, and have well, men say also, we see. 
But what man can believe, that man can do 

Who of no man will counsel take, or hear tell? 
Which to you, when any man any way tried, 
Then were ye deaf: ye could not hear on that 

Whoever with you any time therein wears, 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. IX. 91 

He must both tell you a tale, and find you ears. 
You had on your harvest ears, thick of hearing ; 
But this is a question of old inquiring : 
Who is so deaf, or so blind, as is he 
That wilfully will nother hear nor see? 
When I saw your manner, my heart for woe 

molt ; [bolt : 

Then would ye mend as the fletcher mends his 
Or as sour ale mendeth in summer: I know, 
And knew, which way the wind blew, and will 

Though not to my profit, a prophet was I : 
I prophesied this, too true a prophecy. 
When I was right ill believed, and worse hard, 
By flinging from your folks at home, which all 

When I said in semblance either cold or warm : 
A man far from his good is nigh his harm. 
Or willed ye to look, that ye lost no more, 
On such as show that hungry flies bite sore, 
Then would ye look over me, with stomach 
Like as the devil looked over Lincoln, [swollen, 
The devil is dead, wife, (quoth he), for ye see 
I look like a lamb in all your words to me. 
Look as ye list now, (quoth she), thus looked ye 

than ; 
And for those looks I show this, to show each 

Such proof of this proverb, as none is greater, 
Which saith, that some man may steal a horse 

Than some other may stand and look upon. 
Lewd huswives might have words, but I not 

That might be allowed. But now if ye look, 
In mistaking me, ye may see, ye took 

92 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. IX. 

The wrong way to wood, and the wrong sow by 

th'ear ; 
And thereby in the wrong box to thrive, ye 

I have heard some, to some tell this tale not 

seeld : 
When thrift is in the town, ye be in the field; 
But contrary, you made that sense to sown, 
When thrift was in the field, ye were in the 

town. [ anv ; 

Field ware might sink or swim while ye had 
Town ware was your ware to turn the penny. 
But town or field, where most thrift did appear, 
What ye won in the hundred ye lost in the 

shire — 
In all your good husbandry thus rid the rock. 
Ye stumbled at a straw, and leapt over a block. 
So many kinds of increase you had in choice, 
And nought increase nor keep, how can I re- 
Good riding at two anchors men have told, 
For if the tone fail, the tother may hold. 
But you leave all anchor hold, on seas or lands, 
And so set up shop upon Goodwin's sands. 
But as folk have a saying, both old and true, 
In that they say : black will take none other 
So may I say here, to my deep dolour, [hue; 
It is a bad cloth that will take no colour. 
This case is yours ; for ye were never so wise 
To take speck of colour of good advice. 
Th 'advice of all friends I say, one and other 
Went in at the tone ear, and out at the tother. 
And as those words went out, this proverb in 

came : 
He that will not be ruled by his own dame 
Shall be ruled by his stepdame ; and so you, 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. IX. 93 

Having lost your own good, and own friends 

May seek your foreign friends, if you have any. 
And sure one of my great griefs, among many, 
Is that ye have been so very a hog [dog ! 

To my friends. What, man? love me, love my 
But you, to cast precious stones before hogs, 
Cast my good before a sort of cur dogs 
And salt bitches ; which by whom now de- 
And your honesty among them deflowered, 
And that you may no more expense afford, 
Now can they not afford you one good word, 
And you them as few. And old folk under- 
stood : [good. 
When thieves fall out true men come to their 
Which is not alway true; for, in all that bretch, 
I can no farthing of my good the more fetch ; 
Nor, I trow, themselves neither, if they were 

sworn ; 
Light come, light go ! And sure, since we were 

Ruin of one ravine was there none greater ; 
For, by your gifts, they be as little the better 
As you be much the worse, and I cast away — 
An ill wind that bloweth no man to good, men 
say. [the corn. 

Well, (quoth he), every wind bloweth not down 
I hope, (I say), good hap be not all outworn. 
I will now begin thrift, when thrift seemeth 
gone — [than one ; 

What, wife ! there be mo ways to the wood 
And I will assay all the ways to the wood 
Till I find one way to get again this good. 
Ye will get it again, (quoth she), I fear, 
As shortly as a horse will lick his ear. 

94 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. IX. 

The Dutchman sayeth, that segging is good 

cope ; 
Good words bring not ever of good deeds good 

hope ; [scorn — 

And these words show your words spoken in 
It pricketh betimes that will be a good thorn; 
Timely crooketh the tree, that will a good 

cammock be. 
And, such beginning such end, we all day see; 
And you, by me at beginning being thriven, 
And then to keep thrift could not be pricked nor 

driven — 
How can ye now get thrift, the stock being 

Which is th'only thing to rise thrift upon. 
Men say : he may ill run that cannot go, 
And your gain, without your stock, runneth 

even so. 
For, what is a workman without his tools ? — 
Tales of Robin Hood are good among fools. 
He can ill pipe that lacketh his upper lip; 
Who lacketh a stock, his gain is not worth a 

A tale of a tub, your tale no truth avoweth ; 
Ye speak now as ye would creep into my 

In pure painted process — as false as fair — 
How ye will amend when ye cannot appair? 
But against gay glossers this rude text re- 
cites : 
It is not all butter that the cow shites. 
I heard once a wise man say to his daughter : 
Better is the last smile than the first laughter. 
We shall, I trust, (quoth he), laugh again at 

Although I be once out of the saddle cast ; 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. IX. 95 

Yet, since I am bent to sit, this will I do : 
Recover the horse or lese the saddle too. [hap, 
Ye never could yet, (quoth she), recover any 
To win or save ought, to stop any one gap. 
For stopping of gaps, (quoth he), care not a 

I will learn to stop two gaps with one bush. 
Ye will, (quoth she), as soon stop gaps with 

As with any husbandly handsome bushes. 
Your tales have like taste, where temperance is 

To break my head, and then give me a plaster. 
Now thrift is gone, now would ye thrive in all 

haste ; [waste. 

And when ye had thrift, ye had like haste to 
Ye liked then better an inch of your will 
Than an ell of your thrift. Wife (quoth he), 

be still, 
May I be holp forth an inch at a pinch, 
I will yet thrive, (I say) : As good is an inch 
As an ell. Ye can, (quoth she), make it so 

well ; 
For when J gave you an inch, ye took an ell, 
Till both ell and inch be gone, and we in debt. 
Nay, (quoth he), with a wet finger ye can fet 
As much as may easily all this matter ease ; 
And this debate also pleasantly appease, [now, 
I could do as much with an hundred pound 
As with a thousand afore, I assure you. 
Yea, (quoth she), who had that he hath not 

Do that he doeth not, as old men have told. 
Had I, as ye have, I would do more, (quoth 

he), [see. 

Than the priest spake of on Sunday, ye should 

96 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. IX. 

Ye do, as I have, (quoth she) ; for nought I 

And nought ye do. What, man ! I trow ye 

rave : [cake ? 

Would ye both eat your cake and have your 
Ye have had of me all that I might make ; 
And, be a man never so greedy to win, 
He can have no more of the fox but the skin. 
Well ! (quoth he), if ye list to bring it out, 
Ye can give me your blessing in a clout. 
That were for my child, (quoth she), had I 

ony ; 
But husband ! I have neither child, nor money. 
Ye cast and conjecture this much, like in show, 
As the blind man casts his staff, or shoots the 

crow. [none, 

Howbeit, had I money right much, and ye 
Yet to be plain, ye should have none for Joan. 
Nay, he that first flattereth me, as ye have 

And doth as ye did to me after, so soon, 
He may be in my Pater noster indeed; 
But be sure, he shall never come in my Creed. 
Ave Maria ! (quoth he), how much motion 
Here is to prayers, with how little devotion ; 
But some men say : no penny no Pater noster ! 
I say to such (said she) : no longer foster, 
No longer lemman. But fare and well then, 
Pray and shift each one for himself, as he can : 
Every man for himself ,- and God for us all. 
To those words he said nought ; but, forthwith 

did fall [speech. 

From harping on that string to fair flattering 
And, as I erst said, he did her so beseech, 
That things erst so far off were now so far on, 
That as she may wallow, away she is gone 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. IX. 97 

Where all that was left lay with a trusty friend, 
Dwelling a good walk from her at the town's 

And back again straight a halting pace she 

Bringing a bag of royals and nobles ; 
All that she had, without restraint of one jot — 
She brought bullock's noble, for noble or groat 
Had she not one mo : which I after well knew. 
And anon smiling, toward him as she drew, 
Ah, sir ! light burden far heavy (quoth she) ; 
This light burden in long walk well-nigh trieth 

God give grace I play not the fool this, day ; 
For here J send th'axe after the helve away. 
But if ye will stint and avoid all strife, 
Love and cherish this as ye would my life. 
I will, (quoth he), wife, by God Almighty ! 
This gear cometh even in pudding time rightly. 
He snatched at the bag. No haste but good, 

(quoth she) ; 
Short shooting leseth your game, ye may see. 
Ye missed the cushion, for all your haste to it, 
And I may set you beside the cushion yit, 
And make you wipe your nose upon your sleeve 
For ought ye shall win without ye axe me leave. 
Have ye not heard tell, all covet, all lose? 
Ah, sir ! I see ye may see no green cheese 
But your teeth must water — a good cockney 

coke ! 
Though ye love not to buy the pig in the poke, 
Yet snatch ye at the poke, that the pig is in, 
Not for the poke, but the pig good cheap to 

Like one half lost, till greedy grasping gat it, 
Ye would be over the stile ere ye come at it. 
hey. 11. H 

98 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. X. 

But abide, friend ! your mother bid till ye were 
born : [morn. 

Snatching winneth it not, if ye snatch till to 
Men say, (said he), long standing and small 
offering [proffering 

Maketh poor persons; and, in such signs and 
Many pretty tales and merry toys had they, 
Before this bag came fully from her away. 
Kindly he kissed her, with words not tart nor 
tough : [enough. 

But the cat knoweth whose lips she licketh well 
Anon, the bag she delivered him, and said 
He should bear it, for that it now heavy 

With good will, wife ! for it is, (said he to her), 
A proud horse that will not bear his own pro- 
And oft before seemed she never so wise, 
Yet was she now, suddenly waxen as nice 
As it had been a halporth of silver spoons. 
Thus cloudy mornings turn to clear afternoons ; 
But so nigh noon it was, that by and by, 
They rose, and went to dinner lovingly. 

Chapter X. 

This dinner thought he long, and straight after 
To his accustomed customers he gat ; [that 
With whom, in what time he spent one groat 

In less time he spent now ten groats or more ; 
And in small time he brought the world so 

about [out. 

That he brought the bottom of the bag clean 
His gadding thus again made her ill content; 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. X. 99 

But she not so much as dreamed that all was 

Howbeit, suddenly, she minded on a day 
To pick the chest lock, wherein this bag lay ; 
Determining this : if it lay whole still, 
So shall it lie — no mite she minish will ; [best 
And, if the bag began to shrink, she thought 
To take for her part some part of the rest. 
But straight as she had forthwith opened the 

And looked in the bag what it was a clock, 
Then was it proved true, as this proverb goeth : 
He that cometh last to the pot is soonest wroth. 
By her coming last, and too late to the pot, 
Whereby she was potted thus like a sot 
To see the pot both skimmed for running over, 
And also all the liquor run at rover. 
At her good husband's and her next meeting, 
The devil's good grace might have given a 

Either for honour or honesty, as good [wood ; 
As she gave him : she was, (as they say), horn 
In no place could she sit herself to settle, 
It seemed to him she had pissed on a nettle. 
She nettled him, and he rattled her so, 
That at end of that fray asunder they go; 
And never after came together again — 
He turned her out at doors to graze on the 

And himself went after; for, within fortnight, 
All that was left was launched out quite. 
And thus had he brought haddock to paddock , 
Till they both were not worth a haddock. 
It hath been said : need maketh the old wife 

trot — 
Other folk said it, but she did it, God wot ! 

h 2 

ioo Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. X. 

First from friend to friend, and then from dur 

to dur, 
A-begging of some that had begged of her. 
But as men say : misery may be mother 
Where one beggar is driven to beg of another. 
And thus wore and wasted this most woeful 

wretch, [fetch. 

Till death from this life did her wretchedly 
Her late husband, and now widower, here and 

there [where ; 

Wandering about, few know and fewer care 
Cast out as an abject, he leadeth his life 
Till famine belike fet him after his wife. 

Now let us note here : First, of the first 

Where they both wedded, together to remain, 
Hoping joyful presence should wear out all 

woe : 
Yet poverty brought that joy to /oy-fail, lo ! 
But, notably note these last twain : whereas he 
Took her only for that he rich would be, 
And she him only in hope of good hap 
In her doting days to be danced on the lap. 
In condition they differed so many ways, 
That lightly he laid her up for holy days; 
Her good he laid up so, lest thieves might spy 

That nother she could, nor he can, come by it. 
Thus failed all four, of all things less and 

Which they all, or any of all, married for. 

Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. XI. 

Chapter XI. 

Forsooth ! said my friend, this matter maketh 

Of diminution. For, here is a mill post 
Thwitten to a pudding prick so nearly, 
That I confess me discouraged clearly. 
In both my weddings, in all things, except one, 
This spark of hope have I, to proceed upon : 
Though these and some other speed ill as ye 

Yet other have lived and loved full well. 
If I should deny that, (quoth I), I should rave; 
For, of both these sorts, I grant, that myself 

Seen of the tone sort, and heard of the tother, 
That liked and lived right well, each with 

But whether fortune will you that man declare, 
That shall choose in this choice, your comfort 

or care, 
Since, before ye have chosen, we cannot know, 
I thought to lay the worst, as ye the best show, 
That ye might, being yet at liberty, 
With all your joy, join all your jeopardy. 
And now, in this heard, in these cases on each 

I say no more, but lay your hand on your heart. 
I heartily thank you, (quoth he) ; / am sped 
Of mine errand: this hitteth the nail on the 

Who that leaveth surety and leaneth unto 

When fools pipe, by authority he may dance. 
And sure am I, of those twain, if I none choose, 

102 Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. XI. 

Although I nought win, yet shall I nought 

And to win a woman here, and lose a man, 
In all this great winning what gain win I 

But, mark how folly hath me away carried ; 
How, like a weathercock, I have here varied : 
First, these two women to lose I was so loth, 
That if I might, I would have wedded them 

both ; [them ; 

Then thought I since, to have wedded one of 
And, now know I clear, I will wed none of 

They both shall have this one answer by letter : 
As good never a whit as never the better. 
Now let me ask, (quoth I), and yourself 

The short question that I asked while're. 
A foul, old, rich widow, whether wed would ye, 
Or a young, fair maid, being poor as ye be? 
In neither barrel better herring, (quoth he). 
I like thus richesse as ill as poverty; 
Who that hath either of these pigs in ure, 
He hath a pig of the worse pannier sure. 
I was wedded unto my will ; howbeit, 
I will be devorst, and be wed to my wit ; 
Whereby, with these examples past, I may 

Fond wedding, for love, as good only to flee. 
Only for love, or only for good, 
Or only for both I wed not, by my hood ! 
Thus, no one thing only, though one thing 

Shall woo me to wed now : for now I espy, 
Although the chief one think in wedding be 


Proverbs, Pt. II., Ch. XI. 103 

Yet must mo things join, as all in one may 

Such kind of living - , for such kind of life, 
As lacking the same, no lack to lack a wife. 
Here is enough, I am satisfied, (said he). 
Since enough is enough, (said I), here may we, 
With that one word take end good, as may be 

For folk say : enough is as good as a feast. 


€fte fete Ijutttrretr ot 

Jnuentrti anir 

Joijn my? 




Rhyme without reason, and reason without 

rhyme — 
In this conversion deep difference doth fall 
In first part whereof, where I am fallen this 

The folly I grant; which granted, (readers all), 
Your grant, to grant this request, require I 

Ere ye full reject these trifles following here, 
Perceive, (I pray you), of the words th 'intents 

In which, (may ye like to look), ye shall espy 
Some words show one sense, another to dis- 
close ; 
Some words, themselves sundry senses signify ; 
Some words, somewhat from common sense, I 

To seem one sense in text, another in glose. 
These words in this work, thus wrought your 

working tool [fool. 

May work me to seem, (at least), the less a 
Then in rough rude terms of homely honesty — 
For unhonest term, (I trust), there none here 

Wherein fine tender ears shall offended be — 

108 To the Reader 

Those follies, being searched in reason's 

Reason may be surgeon salving those wounds ; 
Turning those sores to salves ; for reason doth 

Homely matters homely terms do best express. 
But where all defence standeth in exemption, 
To defend me herein out of folly's bands — 
So that to redeem me there's no redemption, 
Granting, and submitting folly, that so 

stands — 
This last refuge I crave to have, at your hands, 
Those follies standing clear from intent of ill ; 
In lieu or lack of good wit, except good will. 


No. of Epigram. 

The Preface to the Reader. 

An Epigram on this Book of Epigrams i 

Of Three Sages . .2 

Questions Answered 


Of Water, Wine, and Ale 


Too Much and Too Little 


Of the Senses . 


Of Talking . 


Of Ears and Wits . 


A Drunkard . 


The Fox and the Maid . 


Of an 111 Governor called Jude 


Upon Giving an Alms 


Of a Surfeit . 


Repugnance in Appearance 


The Ape and the Ass 


A Fool and a Wise Man . 


Of Sight 


Feigned News 


Two Arm in Arm . 


Of Hearing and Speaking 


Of Wit, Will, and Wisdom 


The Wren and Her Birds 


The Master and His Man 

2 3 

Upon Penance 


1 10 The Table to this Book 

No. of EpigTam. 

Jack and his Father .... 25 
Of a Daw .... 

Of Asking and Showing the Way 

A Quiet Neighbour . 

Of Dogs and Thieves 

A Keeper of the Commandments 

Of a Nose .... 

Letting of a Farm . 

Age and Youth 

A Rose and a Nettle 

Of the Wife's and her Husband's Waste 

An Old Wife's Boon 

A Talk of Two Conies 

A Prisoner 

Two Blind Men 

Debility of Senses 

A Foolish Husband 

A Witty Wife . 

Handsome Handling 

A Saying of Patch, my Lord Cardinal 


Certain Follies .... 

Of Two Students .... 
A Merry Woman .... 
A Louse and a Flea 
Of Him that Forgot His Pater Noster in 

Latin . 
Of Him that could not Learn His Paler 

Noster in English 
Of the Fist and the Heart 
Of this Word, Enough . 
Of Table-play . 
The Cock and the Hen . 
Cheapening a Face of Fur 
Buying of Shoes 
A Suspicion Cleared 

The Table to this Book 


No. of Epigram. 

Of Spite 


Of the Letter " H " 


111 Fleeing of Idleness .... 


A Tongue and a Clock .... 


A Hearer of a Sermon .... 


A Man Without Wit, Strength, and 

Cunning ...... 


How to Wish ...... 


A Doubtful Demand or Choice 


An Old Widower and a Young Maid 


Gaping Oysters ..... 


The Judge and the Juggler 


Of Looking 


Of Constancy . 


Of a Face and a Wit 

7 1 

Of Blowing 


To the Flatterer 


Of Contentation 


Of Waiting . 


Of Foreknowledge . 


The Same Impugned Without Change of 

Words, Except Four or Five 

Mistaking an Errand .... 


Of Keeping an Inn ..... 


A Wife's Defence of her Beetle Brow 


The Shrewd Wife's Tongue . 


A Fool's Tongue ..... 


Of Glass and Lattice .... 


Two Wishes for Two Manner of Mouths 


Of Dispraise ...... 


A Discharge from Hypocrisy . 


Of the Fool and the Gentleman's Nose . 


A Fool Taken for Wise .... 


Things to Forbear ..... 


Of Meddlers .... 


Of Dwelling . 





The Table to this Book 

No. of Epigram. 

Of the Miller and the Sexton . 


Of Books and Cheese 


Of Heads .... 


The Woodcock and the Daw . 


Of Few Words 


Wotting and Weening . 

. . 96 

The Same Otherwise 

A Much Like Matter 


Wisdom and Folly . 

. 98 

Of Lack 


The Weathercock, the Reed, 

and the 



Finis Tabulce. 


i. "An Epigram on this Book of Epigrams." 

This book may seem, as it sorteth in suit, 
A thin trim trencher to serve folk at fruit. 
But carver or reader can no way win 
To eat fruit thereon, or compt fruit therein. 

2. "Of Three Sages." 

Three manner sag-es nature doth devise — 
The sage herb, the sage fool, and the sage 

And who for most wise himself doth accept, 
May match any sage, the sage wise except. 

3. "Questions Answered." 

Trust they any ) Yea 

I hat trust not many:* J 

Please they any 1 _, 

That serve many? J a ^' 

Help they any ) 

That help not many? j ' 

Friend they any 1 

That flatter many? J Na ?' 

Fear they any ^ 

That fear not many? j Yea ' 

Keep they any ) 

That keep too many ? J 

hey. 11. 

H4 The first hundred of Epigrams 

4. " Of Water, Wine, and Ale." 

Water under a boat, wine in a bottle, 
The tone I can bear, th'other beareth me well; 
And whereas nother boats nor bottles be, 
Nother can I bear wine, nor water bear me. 
But, above all liquor, well fare ale, (I say), 
For I with ale, and ale with me, wag away. 

5. "Too Much or Too Little." 

If that I drink too much, then am I dry; 

If I drink too little, more dry am I ; 

If I drink no whit then am I dry est. 

Too much, too little, no whit — nought is the 

Thus drink we no whit, or drink till we burst, 
Yet poor dry souls we be ever a-thirst. 

6. "Of the Senses." 

Speak not too much, lest speech make thee 
speechless ; 

Go not too much, for fear thou go behind ; 

Hear not too much, lest hearing bring deaf- 
ness ; [blind ; 

Look not too much, lest looking make thee 

Smell not too much, lest smelling lose his kind ; 

Taste not too much, lest taste mistaste thy 
chaps ; 

Touch not too much for fear of afterclaps. 

7. "Of Talking." 

Thy tail can talk, and knoweth no letter; 
Thy tongue can talk, and talketh much sweeter ; 
But except wisdom be the greater 
Of tongue and tail, thy tail talketh better. 

The first hundred of Epigrams 115 

8. "Of Ears and Wits." 

Thin ears and thick wits be dainty ; 
Thick ears and thick wits be plenty ; 
Thick ears and thick wits be scant ; 
Thin ears and thin wits none want. 

9. "A Drunkard." 

A goose is harnessed in her white feathers ; 
A drunkard in drink against all weathers ; 
A fool in his fool's hood, put all togethers. 

10. "The Fox and the Maid." 

Although that foxes have been seen there 

Yet was there lately, in Finsbury field, 
A fox sat in sight of certain people, 
Nodding, and blissing, staring on Paul's 

A maid toward market, with hens in a band, 
Came by, and with the fox she fell in hand. 
44 What thing is it, Reynard, in your brain 

plodding, [ding? " 

That bringeth this busy blissing and nod- 
" I nother nod for sleep, sweetheart," the fox 

said, [maid. 

" Nor bliss for spirits, except the devil be a 
My nodding and blissing breedeth of wonder, 
Of the wit of Paul's weathercock yonder. 
There is more wit in that cock's only head, 
Than hath been in all men's heads that be dead. 
As thus, by common report, this we find, 
All that be dead did die for lack of wind. 
But the weathercock's wit is not so weak 
To lack wind ; the wind is ever in his beak. 
So that, while any wind bloweth in the sky, 

1 2 

1 1 6 The first hundred of Epigrams 

For lack of wind that weathercock will not 

She cast down her hens, and now did she bliss, 
11 Jesu ! " (quoth she), " in nomine patris ! 
Who hath ever heard, at any season, 
Of a fox's forging so feat a reason? " 
And while she praised the fox's wit so, 
He gat her hens in his neck, and to go. 
"Whither away with my hens, fox?" (quoth 

" To Paul's pig as fast as I can," (quoth he). 
" Between these hens, and yonder weathercock, 
I will assay to have chickens a flock. 
Which, if I may get, this tale is made good, 
In all Christendom not so wise a brood. 
Maiden," (quoth he), " these hens be forbodden 
Your sight till the weathercock hath trodden. x ' 
"Woe, worth! " (quoth she), "all crafty in- 
And all inventors, that by false intentions, 
Invent with intent to blind or blear blunt eyes, 
In case as this fox to me doth devise." 

ii. "Of an III Governor called Jude. " 

A ruler there was, in country a-fer, 
And of the people a great extortioner; [Jude. 
Who, by name, (as I understand), was called 
One gave him an ass ; which gift, when he had 
He asked the giver for what intent [viewed, 
He brought him that ass. " For a present 
I bring master Jude," (quoth he), "this as[s] 

To join master Jude and this as[s] together. 
Which two, joined in one, this is brought to 

pass : 
I may bid you * Good even,' master Judas." 

The first hundred of Epigrams 1 1 7 

" Macabe or Iscariot, thou knave?" (quoth 

he). [be." 

" Whom it please your mastership, him let it 

12. "Of Giving an Alms." 

Into a beggar's hand, that alms did crave, 
Instead of one penny, twopence one gave. 
Which done, he said, " Beggar, happy thou 

art ! 
For to thee my hand is better than my heart. ' 
" That is," (quoth the beggar), " as it chanceth 

now ; 
The better for me, and the worse for you." 

13. " Of a Surfeit." 

A man, from a fever recovered new, 

His greedy appetite could not eschew 

From meat contagious, whereto he had a lust ; 

But one morsel, one evening, needs eat he 

Which, forthwith, brought good approbation 
Of his return into residivation. 
"What cause causeth this?" (quoth the 

" I know," (quoth he), " no cause of suspicion ; 
Howbeit, my wonder is great as can be 
By what means this fever attacheth me 
More for eating a little this night last, [past. 
Than for eating much more the night before 
I did eat a capon nigh every whit 
The last night ; after which, I felt no fit. 
And this night I ate but one bit of fresh beef, 
And yet I am shaken with the whoreson thief." 
" Now," (quoth the physician), " appeareth the 

cause why : 
Capon is wholesome, and the beef contrary ; 

n8 The first hundred of Epigrams 

And a little ill meat giveth sickness more food 
Than a little too much of meat that is good." 
44 Sir, I thank you much," (quoth the patient); 
" This lesson shall henceforth make me to con- 
When I shall needs surfeit, by unruly will, 
Rather to surfeit on that is good, than ill." 

14. 44 Repugnancy in Appearance." 

Much contrariety may seem to stand 
Where none is ; as by example, my son : 
In London is the best ale of all England ; 
And yet, as good ale in England as in London. 

15. "The Ape and the Ass." 

The ape and the ass stood where they beheld 
A course with a greyhound at the hare in a 
field; [ground wan. 

They well perceiving the greyhound great 
As long as the hare and he forthright ran ; 
And like advantage they saw in the hare 
W r hen she list lightly to turn here and there. 
The ape, to know whether the ass's talking, 
Were any quicker than his assish stalking, 
Asked the ass, 44 If thou should 'st choose one 

of both— 
To ren as swiftly as the greyhound yonder 

Or turn as light as the hare — which one of 
twain [obtain? " 

Wouldst thou in thy choosing by choice 
44 I," (quoth the ass), ' 4 being at liberty [thee. 
Will choose none of both feats, I may say to 
What winneth the dog by his swift footman- 
ship [a whip? 
When the hare, at pinch, turneth from him at 

The first hundred of Epigrams 119 

And what win'th the hare in her turns so 

The dog out-running- her again, by and by? 
Renning or turning so, run or turn who will, 

I will go softly, or else stand even still." 

" Howbeit, to assoil thy question," (quoth he), 

II If I should choose one, like the hare would I 

For, where the dog renneth the hare for to kill, 
She turneth for defence, offering the dog none 

And better is this part in this case, brother, 
Myself to defend, than offend another." 

16. "A Fool and a Wise Man." 

A fool and a wise man riding, one espied. 

He asked the horse that the wise man did ride : 

" Whither goest thou, horse? " " Whither go 

I?" (quoth he)— [me!" 

" Ask him that guideth the bridle, ask not 
11 Whither ridest thou, fool!" (quoth he), 

" with look so fell? " 
"Ask my horse, knave!" (said he), "what 

can I tell? " 
" When fools ride," (quoth he), " that cannot 

rule the rein, 
Their horses be their herbengers, I see plain. 
And when wise men ride, I right well espy, 
Themself, not their horse, appoint where they 


17. li Of Sight." 

Who needs will look, and would not see, 
The sight once seen thou lookest for, 
Close up thine eyes. For, trust thou me, 
Much looking so breedeth much eye sore. 

120 The first hundred of Epigrams 

18. "Feigned News." 

From a field fought, one of the beaten side 
Ran home, and victory on his part he cried ; 
Whose prince, by him thus informed of this, 
Made bonfires and bankets, as the use is. 
In short time, after all which joy and cost, 
The king - was ascertained the field was lost. 
Wherewith he, (in as great haste as great 

Charged the first messenger to make preef 
Where he had this lie : that the field was won. 
"Myself, sir," (quoth he), "this lie first be- 
Which, for commodity unto your grace, 
And all your subjects, I brought it in place. 
Where the truth should have brought watching 

and weeping, 
My lie brought two days of laughing and sleep- 
And if ye all this year took my lie for true 
To keep you merry, what harm could ensue? 
Better is," (quoth he), "be it new or stale, 
A harmless lie than a harmful true tale." 
How his lie was allowed, I know none that 

knoweth ; 
But it was at least winked at, I heard of 

19. "Two, Arm in Arm." 

One said to another, taking his arm, 

" By licence, friend, and take this for none 

" No, sir," (quoth the other), " J give you leave 
To hang on my arm, but not on my sleeve." 

The first hundred of Epigrams 

20. " Of Hearing and Speaking." 

Who heareth all 
And speaketh nought, 
Chance may so fall 
He is well taug-ht. 
Who speaketh all 
And heareth nought, 
Fall what shall fall, 
He is ill taught. 
Who heareth all 
And all babbleth, 
Whatever fall 
He oft fableth. 
Who heareth nought 
Nor nought can speak, 
May soon be thought 
A hoddypeak. 
Say nought, hear all ; 
Say all, hear nought ; 
Both, none, these fall 
Extremely wrought. 
Who heareth oft 
And speaketh seeld, 
Be wit aloft 
He winneth the field. 

21. " Of Wit, Will, and Wisdom." 

Where will is good, and wit is ill, 
There wisdom can no manner skill. 
Where wit is good, and will is ill, 
There wisdom sitteth all silent still. 
Where wit and will are both two ill, 
There wisdom no way meddle will. 
Where wit and will well ordered be, 
There wisdom maketh a trinity. 

122 The first hundred of Epigrams 

22. " The Wren, and her Birds.'' 
Of a nest of wrens late bred in a hedge, 
Which the dam forsaking, when they were 

One said : " Alas ! mother, what is the why 
That ye draw from us unnaturally? " 
"Child," (quoth the dam), "I do now unto 

As my dam, in my youth, did unto me. 
Whereby I am blameless in that I do, 
Since I do but as I have been done to." 
4< Mother," (quoth he), " to deal as ye be dealt 

Is not alway meet ; but this is the pith : 
As ye would your dam should have dealt with 

yow, [now/' 

So should ye, our dam, deal with your birds 
"Why, son," (quoth she), "thinkest thou me 

such a fool, 
That my child shall set his mother to school? 
Nay, adieu," (quoth she), and away she is 

flown ; 
This child, for this check, refusing for her own. 
Which done, the wren calleth his brothers and 
And unto them this lesson he whisters. [sisters, 
" I see, and ye may see," (quoth he), " by this 

The trial of taunts out of time and place. 
Where fair words haply my mother might have 

This taunt maketh her refuse me for her son. 
Which may teach us all, wherever we become, 
Rather by silence alway to be mum 
Than in ought at liberty, or forbidden, 
To taunt our betters, openly or hidden." 

The first hundred of Epigrams 123 

23. " The Master and the Man." 

A man, and his man, chanced late to be 
Nigh where a crow stood crying in a tree. 
"James," (quoth the master), " the crow hath 
spied thee." [(quoth he). 

" Nay, by God ! he looketh on you, master," 
" Taunts," (quoth the master), " rebound some- 
times I see; [me." 
Where I thought to taunt thee, thou dost taunt 

24. " Upon Penance." 

Two men of one man were confessed but late, 
And both two had penance after one rate. 
Which was : each of them a penny should give 
To a penniless man, him to relieve. [more ; 

Th'one of these twain had one penny, and no 
Th 'other, no penny nor farthing had in store. 
They disclosing each to other in this case, 
This penny father drew his purse apace, 
Saying : " Since thou art penniless, I will 
Give thee this penny, my penance to fulfil." 
11 God thank thee ! " (quoth the tother), " and 

since thou 
Art now penniless, as I was even now, 
For penance I give this penny to thee, 
As freely as ever thou gavest it to me." 
" Well done! " (quoth the other), " here may 

we boast : 
Penny dole dealt without one penny cost." 

25. "Jack and his Father." 

"Jack," (quoth his father), "how shall I ease 

If I stand, my legs ache ; and if I kneel, 
My knees ache; if I go, then my feet ache; 

124 The first hundred of Epigrams 

If I lie, my back acheth ; if I sit I feel 

My hips ache; and, lean I never so weel, 

My elbows ache." " Sir," (quoth Jack), 

" pain to exile, 
Since all these ease not, best ye hang awhile." 

26. "Of a Daw." 

With a crossbow, late, in hand ready bent, 
To shoot at a daw in a tree, I went 
Saying to one by : "I will assay to hit 
Yonder I see a daw, if she will sit." 
11 She is, if she sit, a daw indeed," (quoth he); 
11 But if she sit not, what is she then, say ye? " 
11 A daw also," (said I). Then said he, " I see, 
Whether a daw sit, or whether a daw flee, 
Whether a daw stand, or whether a daw lie, 
Whether a daw creak, or whether a daw cry, 
In what case soever a daw persever, 
A daw is a daw, and a daw shall be ever." 

2j. "Of Showing the Way." 

Twain met in a highway what time they did go, 
Each one toward the place the tother came fro. 
"What is my way," (said the tone), " I pray 

thee? " [ings," (quoth he); 

" Fool! " (quoth th 'other). "That is ill tid- 
" I can tell thee better tidings than this : 
Thy way, both fair and smooth as a die is. 
My tidings," (quoth he), " is better than thine, 
But I think thy tidings truer than mine." 
"This is," (quoth the tother), "so well 

brought about, 
That it brought, and shall bring me, in doubt 
Which of these twain is most ill to view : 
Good tales that be false, or ill tales that be 


The first hundred of Epigrams 1 25 

28. "A Quiet Neighbour." 

Accompted our commodities, 

Few more commodious reason sees 

Than is this one commodity — 

Quietly neighboured to be ; 

Which neighbourhood in thee appears. 

For, we two, having ten whole years 

Dwelt wall to wall, so joiningly, 

That whispering soundeth through wellnigh, 

I never heard thy servants brawl 

More than thou hadst had none at all. 

Nor I can no way make avaunt, 

That ever I heard thee give them taunt. 

Thou art to them, and they to thee, 

More mild than mute ; mum ye be. 

I hear no noise mine ease to break; 

Thy buttery door I hear not creak ; 

The kitchen cumbreth not by heat ; 

Thy cooks chop neither herbs nor meat. 

I never heard thy fire once spark ; 

I never heard thy dog once bark ; 

I never heard once in thy house 

So much as one peep of one mouse ; 

I never heard thy cat once mew — 

These praises are not small nor few. 

I bear all water of thy soil, 

Whereof I feel no filthy foil, 

Save water which doth wash thy hands, 

Wherein there none annoyance stands. 

Of all thy guests set at thy board, 

I never heard one speak one word ; 

I never heard them cough nor hem ; 

I think, hence to Jerusalem, 

For this neighbourly quietness, 

Thou art the neighbour neighbourless. 

126 The first hundred of Epigrams 

For ere thou wouldest neighbours annoy, 
These kinds of quiet to destroy, 
Thou rather wouldest to help that matter, 
At home alone fast bread and water. 

29. "Of Dogs and Thieves." 

To keep thieves by night out of my house, 
I keep dogs to aid me in my yard, 
Whose barking at stir of every mouse, 
By lack of sleep killeth me in regard — 
Thieves or dogs then, which may best be 

spared ? 
Murder is the most mischief here to guess ; 
Thieves can do no more, and dogs will do no 


30. "A Keeper of the Commandments." 

If it be, (as it is), much commendable 
To keep God's precepts, given Moses in table : 
In keeping the same, (as thou hast pretended), 
Thou may'st well be marvellously commended. 
First, for thy having any mo gods but one : 
Thou keepest within that bound : for God thou 

hast none. 
Having or worshipping pf god, false or true, 
Thou hast nor worshippest God, old nor new. 
And, as for the committing of Idolatry, 
By graving to thyself any Imagery : 
This twenty years, day in, weather hot or cool, 
Thou handledst no carving nor working tool. 
The name of God in vain : thou consentest not 

till ; [good or ill, 

Thou never swearest but for some purpose 
And as for the holy day, thou dost break none : 
For thou wilt rather make twenty than break 


The first hundred of Epigrams 127 

Father and mother not dishonoured by thee : 
For thou never comest where any of them be. 
And where thou shalt not kill ; to clear thee of 

Thou never durst abide to fight with a gnat. 
Than all adultery or fornication : 
Chastity dischargeth, by this approbation ; 
All women hardly can bear thee their favour 
To abide thy sight ; and in no wise thy savour. 
For stealing or theft : whatever thou hast been, 
Thy hands at this day are known to be clean. 
How canst thou steal ought in house, field, or 

street ? — [feet. 

Thou sittest in Newgate fast bound, hands and 
By false witness thou never hurtest man : for 

Every word thou speakest, every man thinkest 

a lie. 
Now, to covet in mind thy neighbour's ass, 
Or his house : when bondage will not let thee 

To ride to the tone, or go to the tother; 
Or, in consented thought, one way or other. 
For to covet thy neighbour's maid or his wife : 
Thou knowing they cannot love thee for their 

Or, of thy neighbour's things to covet any- 
thing : 
When covetousness can no way bring winning ; 
But that lack of credit, liberty, or love, 
Keepeth thee from that coveting can move. 
Thou hast too shrewd a wit in desire to dwell, 
To have things from which despair doth thee 

expel. [appear, 

Thus in God's precepts, except thou clear 
I know not who the devil can say he is clear. 

128 The first hundred of Epigrams 

31. " Of a Nose." 

But for blemish of a face to look upon, 

I doubt which were best, to have a nose or 

Most of our savours are more sour than sweet : 
A nose or no nose, which is now most meet? 

32. " Letting of a Farm." 

By word, without writing, one let out a farm, 
The covenants wherein the lessee brake amain : 
Whereby the lessor, lacking- writing, had 
harm. [plain, 

He said and sware, he would make promise 
Without writing - , never to let thing again. 

II Husband ! " cried this wife, " that oath again 

revart : 
Else, without writing, ye cannot let a fart." 

33. " Age and Youth." 

Though age and youth together can seeld 

Yet once, two young and two old folk did I see 
Agreed like lambs together, divers years : 
The story whereof forthwith appears. 
A woman old, and a man young were led, 
She him for love, and he her for good, to wed. 
A young woman, and old man, in like case, 
Were wed for like cause at the same time and 

Into one house these two couples wedded were, 
And during their lives, together must live there. 
And they once acquainted, and one month 

All their lives after they never varied. 
Company and condition these four folk hold, 

The first hundred of Epigrams 1 29 

As nature naturally willcth young and old : 
Coupling- themselves together thus every day ; 
Th'old fools all day prate, the young fools all 
day play. 

34. "A Rose and a Nettle." 

What time herbs and weeds, and such things 

could talk, 
A man in his garden one day did walk, 
Spying a nettle green, (as Themeraude), spread 
In a bed of roses like the ruby red. [eye, 

Between which two colours he thought, by his 
The green nettle did the red rose beautify. 
44 Howbeit," he asked the nettle, 44 what thing 
Made him so pert? so nigh the rose to 

spring? " [nettle ; 

44 I grow here with these roses," said the 
44 Their mild properties in me to settle; 
And you, in laying unto me your nose, 
Shall smell how a nettle may change to a 

rose. " 
He did so : which done, his nostrils so pritcht, 
That rashly he rubbed where it no whit itched ; 
To which smart mock, and wily beguiling, 
He, the same smelling, said smoothly smiling — 
44 Roses convert nettles? Nay, they be too 

Nettles will pervert roses rather, I smell." 

35. 44 Of the Wife's and her Husband's 

44 Where am I least, husband?" Quoth he, 

44 In the waist: [strait-laced." 

Which cometh of this ; thou art vengeably 


1 30 The first hundred of Epigrams 

4 ' Where am I biggest, wife?" "In the 

waste," (quoth she); 
11 For all is waste in you, as far as I see." 

36. "An Old Wife's Boon." 

In old world, when old wives bitterly prayed, 

One devoutly, as by way of a boon, 

Axt vengeance on her husband, and to him 

said : 
" Thou wouldst wed a young wife ere this 

week were doon [soon." 

Were I dead, but thou shalt wed the devil as 
" I cannot wed the devil," (quoth he). 

" Why? " (quoth she). [he). 

"For I have wedded his dam before," (quoth 

27. "A Talk of Two Conies." 

In time when dumb beasts, as well as birds 

Two conies their minds in this matter brake. 
" Were all conies in such case," (said the one), 
" That of two winters' weather we must choose 

one : [snow ever ? 

Which were best choice — frost never, and 
Or else to choose frost ever, and snow never? " 
" Frost," (quoth the other), " maketh us lusty 

and fat; [(quoth he), " for that? 

And snow lameth us for lean." "What," 
Forty fat conies be oft killed in one night, 
When lean conies with life 'scape away quite." 
" Yea," (quoth the tother), " but where snow 

too long lieth, 
Conies by famine well-nigh every one dieth. 
Better all be fat, though some die as lots fall, 
Than linger in leanness, and thereby die all." 

The first hundred of Epigrams 131 

38. "A Prisoner." 

In prison, a prisoner condemned to die, 
And for execution waiting daily, 
In his hands for worms looking on a day, 
Smiling to himself these words did say : 
" Since my four quarters, in four quarters 
shall stand, [hand ? 

Why harm I these seely worms eating my 
Nought else in this deed do I, but myself show 
Enemy to the worm and friend to the crow." 

39. "Two Blind Men." 

One blind man to supper another bad ; 
Which twain, sitting at such meat as they had, 
11 Methinketh," (quoth the blind host), " this 

candle burneth dim." [him. 

" So thinketh me, sir," said the blind guest to 
"Wife," (said the good man), "with sorrow 

mend this light." [bright; 

She put out the candle, which burned very 
And chopped down empty candlesticks two or 

three. [(quoth he). 

"So lo ! now eat and welcome, neighbour," 

40. "Debility of Senses." 

" Wife, my hands for feeling are oft very ill; 
And, as th'one hand mendeth, th 'other ap- 

paireth still." [feeleth, evermore, 

" Ye say sooth," (said she), " th'one hand 
Worse the day present than the day before. 
Th'other hand feeleth, by ointments excellent, 
Better the day before than the day present. 
But how doth your eye-sight? " " Worse and 

worse," (said he); [thee." 

" For worse this day, than yesterday, I see 

k 2 

132 The first hundred of Epigrams 

" Though you were blind," (quoth she), " that 

should no love break; [speak." 

I would your eyes were out, so you could not 
"Take hearing too," (quoth he), "thou 

makest my ears such [too much. 

That thou hast made them hear enough, and 
And going may go too. For wherever I am, 
I go not an inch from the devil or his dam." 
"In faith, if thou didst," (quoth she), "yet 

could I well 
Find means to find out a fool by the smell. 
And here may we hear and see, how this tale 

fits, [wits." 

With my good man's goodly limbs, and good 

41. "A Foolish Husband." 

" Husband, two wits are better than one, 
clerks say, [wa'y : 

To debate matters ; which seemeth true this 

When we two contend, what's my wit without 

To convince thyself thy wit conducteth mine? " 

42. "A Witty Wife." 

" Jane," (quoth James), " to one short demand 

of mine [thine, 

Answer not with a lie from that mouth of 
And take this noble." Which when she had 

ta'en : [Jane? " 

"Is thy husband," (quoth he), "a cuckold, 
She stood still, and to this would no word 

spake. [break, 

From which dumb dump when he could her not 
He axt his noble again. " Why," (quoth she), 
" Made I any lie to thee? " " Nay," (quoth 


The first hundred of Epigrams 133 

" Then walk, fool ! " (quoth she), " this wager 

I win clear, 
And thou of my counsel never the near." 
"Gog's soul!" (sware he), and flung away 

amain : 
" I will never talk with that woman again. 
For, as she in speech can revile a man, 
So can she in silence beguile a man." 

43. " Handsome Handling." 

Some wonder to see thy handling of things 
But it is no wonder as the case stands, [neat ; 
The toes of thy feet, in handling of things feat, 
Are as handsome as the fingers of thy hands. 

44. "A Saying of Patch, my Lord Cardinal's 

Master Sexten, a person of known wit, 
As he at my Lord Cardinal's board did sit, 
Greedily wrought at a goblet of wine : 
" Drink none," (said my lord), " for that sore 
leg of thine. " [provide 

" I warrant your grace," (quoth Sexten), " I 
For my leg: For I drink on the tother side." 

45. "Certain Follies." 

To cast fair white salt into wise"! 

men's meat, I , ,1 

To make them count salt sugar, j "' 

when they eat : 

To bear a man in hand he itchetrf 

in each part 
When the man feeleth an universal 

smart : 

134 The first hundred of Epigrams 

To speak always well, and do"! 

always ill, I f .. 

And tell men those deeds are done j a toll y- 

of good will : J 

Thy lusty-limbed horse to lead in' 

thy hand, 
When on thy lame limbs thou canst 

scantly stand : 

a folly. 

Of kicks for cage work, to build 

thy house high, 
And cover it with lead to keep thy | a ° ?' 

house dry : 

46. "Of Two Students." 

Two scholars young, in the university late 
Kept in thin diet, after scholars' rate, 
Th'one being an eater greedy and great, 
Th 'other a weak feeder, said at his meat : 
"Oh this smart, small pittance and hungry 
Maketh us to study aptly and quiet." [diet 
"Sure," (said the tother), "small meals are 

To th 'increase of study, for deeper instruction; 
This dinner shall drive me to study, anon, 
Where I may get more meat when this is 


47. "A Merry Woman." 

There came, by chance, to a good company 
A lady, a wanton and a merry. [light, 

And though every word of her own showed her 
Yet no man's words else to her might that 

The first hundred of Epigrams 135 

She had all the words ; she babbled so fast 
That they, being weary, one said at the last : 
" Madame, ye make my heart light as a kyx, 
To see you thus full of your meretrix." 
This trick thus well tricked in the Latin phrase, 
Brought to this tricker nother muse nor mase ; 
She nought perceiving, was. no whit offended ; 
Nor her light behaviour no whit amended ; 
But still her tongue was clapping like a patten. 
" Well," said the said man, "in language of 

I never told woman any fault before, 

Nor never in Latin will tell them fault more." 

48. "A Louse and a Flea." 
A louse and a flea, set in a man'^ neck, 
Began each other to taunt and to check ; 
Disputing at length all extremities 
Of their pleasures, or discommodities : 
Namely this I heard, and bare away well. 

II If one," (quoth the louse), ll scrat within 

an ell 
Of thy tail, then forthwith art thou skipping ; 
Like Jack of Bedlam, in and out whipping. 
Half an hour after thou dar'st nowhere sit, 
To abide the biting of one good bit. 
And when any man herein shall prove me, 
His nails do, (as a writ doth), remove me ; 
Which nails, once removed from the man's 


I am straight at feeding, within a hair bread 
Where I fed before in my dainty diet. 

II Ye be hardy," (quoth the flea), " I deny not ; 
But how many lice have abidden by it 

When they would have done as fleas do, fly 
it? " 

136 The first hundred of Epigrams 

With this the man to his neck his hand 

wrought ; 
The flea skipped away, but the louse he caught. 
"Now, now?" (quoth the flea). "Alas!" 

(quoth the lous'e) ; 
" My head is well served to serve for souse 
That thus, like a souse head, forsaw not this 

Till feeling hath put painful practise in preef. " 

49. " Of Him that Forgot his Pater Noster 

in Latin." 
An old, homely man at shrift commanded, 
By his curate, his Pater noster to bid, 
After long study, he said: " Master vicar! 
By Jis ! cham ashamed my wit is no quicker. 
Ich said it within little more than fortnight ; 
And now, like a beast, cha forgot it quite. 
Fie on age ! In youth ich had ever such wit, 
That whatsoever ich had to do, yet 
At shrift chad my Pater noster evermore, 
When ich said it not twice in the year before." 

50. " Of him that could not learn his 
Pater Noster in English." 

A man of the country, shriven in Lent late, 
(According to th 'injunction), his curate 
Bade him the Pater noster in English say. 
" Ich can it not, master," (quoth he), "by my 

fay! " [the rest miss." 

"Say a piece of it," (quoth he), " though ye 
" Ich cannot one word of it," (quoth he), " by 

And yet, master vicar, by God's sacrament ! 
Cha jumbled about it ever since last Lent ; 
And some of it ich had in the cleansing week ; 

The first hundred of Epigrams 1 37 

But now, when ich should say it, all is to 
seek." [far decayed, 

" Well," (quoth the priest), " if your wit be so 
Say the Pater noster ye have always said." 
11 Nay, by the Mass ! " (sware he), " if you will 

have all told, 
Cha so grated on the new, cha forgot th'old." 

51. "Of the Fist and the Heart." 

One cursed another's heart for a blow in a 

fume : 
11 Curse not his heart," (quoth one by), " curse 

his fist.'* 
"His heart," (quoth he), "to mine ear did 

not presume ; 
But his heart to mine ear did his fist assist." 
Since each limb must frame in feat, as the 

heart list, 
When the heart willeth any limb in any fault 

to fall, 
No man blame any man, to blame the heart 

for all. 

52. "Of This Word, Enough." 

A merry man by his master at meat set : 

" Methinketh, (quoth the master), " thou 

canst no drink get." [he. 

" Here is enough, though there be none," said 
" Then art thou not dry? " " Yes, so mote I 

And fain would drink." " How be thy words 

true then? " 
" Thus : This word enough two ways we may 

scan ; 
Th'one much enough, th 'other little enough; 
And here is little enough." His master lough, 

138 The first hundred of Epigrams 

Calling in his wife to discant upon this. 

" How sayest thou, wife? our man in this case 

Dry, and would drink, and drink nothing nigh 

him ; 
And yet proveth he drink enough by him." 
"Since he," (quoth she), "proveth drink 

enough in store, 
More than enough were waste : he getteth 

no more." 

53. "Of Table-play." 

rt Wife, I will no more play at tables with thee ; 
When we come to bearing, thou beguilest me 
In bearing of thy men ; while thou hast any, 
Each other cast thou bearest a man too many." 

54. "The Cock and the Hen." 

A cock and his hen perching in the night, 
The cock at his hour crowed loud as he might ; 
The hen, heavy of sleep, prayed the cock that 

Would leave off his crowing ; but it would not 

The hen saw the cock stick to his tackling : 
In her treble voice she fell so to cackling 
That the cock prayed her, her cackling to 

And he of his crowing would hold his peace. 
"Nay, churl," (quoth she), " be sure that will 

I not; 
And for thy learning henceforth mark this 

knot : 
Whenever thou wouldest seem to overcrow me, 
Then will I surely overcackle thee." 

The first hundred of Epigrams 139 

55. "Cheapening of a Face of Fur." 

Into a skinner's shop, while his wife there 

In haste ran a gentleman, there to espy 

A fair face of fur which he would have bought. 

" What fur," (quoth he), " would your master- 
ship buy? " [nigh? " 

11 Harlots' wombs," (quoth he), " know ye any 

11 Harlots' wombs," (forsooth !), "I have 
none," (quoth she); 

But ye shall have knaves' shanks, meet as 
can be." 

56. "Buying of Shoes." 

When I at the shoemaker's shall shoes assay, 
If they be too little, they will stretch, (saith 

he) ; [way. 

If they be too much, they will shrink straight- 
Too long, too short, how narrow or wide they 

All is one matter as he shapeth them to me. 
For may he once get his shoes on my feet, 
Without last or lingel his words make them 


57. "A Suspicion Cleared." 

One to his friend, kindly 

Gave monition friendly, 

That ill was reported 

By one that resorted 

To him : whom, (as they thought), 

Enticed him to nought. 

He thanked him, and said, 

" My friend, be not afraid. 

The hearing of that fool 

14° The first hundred of Epigrams 

Setteth me no whit to school. 

I hear him when he list ; 

And follow him when me list." 

58. " Of Spite." 
If there be any, as I hope there be none, 
That would lese both his eyes to lese his foe 

Then fear I there be many, as the world go'th, 
That would lese one eye to lese their foes both. 

59. " Of the Letter ' H.' " 

" H " is worst among letters in the cross row; 
For if thou find him other in thine elbow, 
In thine arm, or leg — in any degree — 
In thy head, or teeth, in thy toe or knee, 
Into what place soever " H " may pike him, 
Wherever thou find ache, thou shalt not like 

60. " III Flying of Idleness." 

If flight from idleness may be deemed 
Main means to virtue being fled, warely : 
How mayest thou then thereby be esteemed? 
Thou fleest that vice not meanly nor barely, 
But mainly ; scrupulously, and so charely, 
That in thee, ere idleness shall be spied, 
Thou wilt yet rather be ill occupied. 

61. "A Tongue and a Clock." 

II Thy tongue should be a clock, wife, had I 

God's power, 
For then would it strike but once in one hour." 
" Yet it might run," (quoth she), " and strike 

ere the time; 

The first hundred of Epigrams 141 

And should that clock have, (as my tongue 

hath), a chime, 
I, being sexton, might set the clock forth soon 
To strike and chime twelve two hours before 


62. "A Hearer of a Sermon." 

" What bringeth thou from the sermon, Jack? 

declare that ! " 
" Forsooth, master ! " (quoth he), " your cloak 

and your hat." 
" I can thee good thank, Jack, for thou art 

yet sped 
Of somewhat in thy hand, though nought in 

thy head." 

63. " A Man without Wit, Strength, and 

Thou art a wight to wonder at : 

Thy head for wit showeth thee a wat ; 

Thy body for strength showeth thee a gnat ; 

Thy voice for tune showeth thee a cat — 

Do, say, or sing, in any what, 

Thou art a minion marmsat. 

64. " How to Wish." 

11 How may I have thee, Gill, when I wish for 

thee? " 
11 Wish not for me, Jack, but when thou 

mayest have me." 
This is a lesson Gill, proper and pleasant ; 
For, by these words, this winning Jack may 

avaunt. [before, 

Though Jack be no nearer Gill than Jack was 
Yet Jack is nearer his wit, by Jis ! by ten 


142 The first hundred of Epigrams 

65. "A Doubtful Demand of Choice." 

44 If thou must choose, Hodge, touching 

cuckoldry, [commonly 

Which wouldst thou choose? to know thyself 
To be taken for one, and take thyself none ; 
Or, to be taken for none, and take thyself 

one? " 
" The best or worst of these twain, (Hugh), tell 

me which : 
Claw where it doth smart, or tickle where it 

doth itch? " [brother." 

11 I know small difference herein, Hodge 
" And I, (Hugh), know as little in the tother. " 

66. " An Old Widower and a Young Maid." 

A widower rich, with riveled face old, 
Wooing a fair young woman, his mind he told 
Boasting what he had, as wooers do, that can. 
Wherein he boasted of a goodly young man, 
A son of his own, whom God had him sent, 
Of conditions and qualities excellent. 
In this hot wooing this old man's behaviour, 
So far forth, had won this young woman's 

favour [done, 

That, in short tale, when his long tale was 
She prayed him to go home and send her his 


67. "Gaping Oysters." 

11 On whom gape thine oysters so wide, oyster- 
wife?" [life!" 

" Mine oysters gape on you, sir, God save your 

"Wherefore gape they?" "Sir, they gape 
for promotion ; [tion. " 

They hope, (to promote them), you have devo- 

The first hundred of Epigrams 143 

" Nay," (quoth he), " the peril were pernicious 
To promote oysters that be ambitious." 

68. "The Judge and the Juggler." 

To a justice, a juggler did complain 

Of one that dispraised his liger de maine. 

"What's thy name?" (said the justice). 

" Dawson," said he. [pardie ! " 

"Is thy father alive?" "Nay, dead sir, 
"Then thou shalt no more be Daw's son, a 

clear case, [place." 

Thou art Daw thyself now, in thy father's 

69. " Of Looking." 

To save mine head when I upward cast mine 

And look not to my feet, to the ground fall I. 
When I look downward to my feet, to take 

heed, [bleed. 

A tile, fallen from a house maketh my head 
And look I right forth, between my feet and 

Broken head, breakneck falls, of both I am 

I think it as good, by ought I can devise, 
To be stark staring blind, as thus to have eyes. 

70. "Of Constancy." 

Some say thou art inconstant, but I say nay — 
What though thy wit be wavering every way? 
Whose wit, like the wind, hath been wavering 

And in unsteady wavering doth persever. 
A constant man I affirm him constantly, 
For he is constant in inconstancy. 

144 The first hundred of Epigrams 

71. " Of a Face and a Wit." 

In thy youth and age these properties are 

sprung : [young. 

In youth thy face was old : in age thy wit is 

J2. " Of Blowing." 

What wind can there blow that doth not some 

man please? 
A fart in the blowing doth the blower ease. 

73. "To the Flatterer." 

Thy flattering of me, this followeth thereupon : 
Other thou art a fool, or else I am one. 
Where flattery appeareth, at least by wise 

men's school, 
The flatterer, or the flattered, is a fool. 

74. "Of Contentation. " 

Is not the poor man rich that is contented? 
Yes : rich by his contentation consented. 
Is not the rich man poor that is not content? 
Yes : poor by lack of contentation here meant. 
Then riches and poverty in men's minds lie? 
Yea : but we may far sooner learn, (think I), 
To think ourselves rich having no riches nigh, 
Than make ourselves rich having much riches 

75. '* Of Waiting." 

I would see a man wait to his master's mind 
As the weathercock waiteth on the wind ; 
Blow it here or there, blow it low or high, 
The weathercock's beak is still in the wind's 

The first hundred of Epigrams 145 

76. " Of Foreknowledge." 

Foreknowledge of things that must fall 

To man, I think it were not best. 

The foreknown ill to man would call 

Forefelt grief of foreknown unrest. 

By foreknown good, to man were ceast 

Sweet sudden joy, which evermore 

Cometh when joys come unknown before. 

The Same Impugned without Change of 
Words, except four or five. 

Foreknowledge of things that must fall 

To man, I think it were the best. 

The foreknown ill to man would call 

Digestion of foreknown unrest. 

By foreknown good, to man were ceast 

Distemperate joy, which evermore 

Cometh when joys come unknown before. 

77. ** Mistaking an Errand." 

Feasting a friend, the feaster, (whose man did 

wait), [conceit. 

Bade him at the last course fetch the clouted 
"What bringest thou here, knave?" (quoth 

he), "what hast you doon? " 
"I have," (quoth his man), "brought here 

your clouted shoon. " 
"Clouted shoon, carterly knave! what dost 

thou dream? 
Eat thou the clouted shoon, fetch us the 

clouted cream." 

78. "Of Holding an Inn." 

Being holden in Newgate, thou canst not be 
An innholder, for thine inn holdeth thee. 
hey. II. L 

146 The first hundred of Epigrams 

79. "A Wife's Defence of her Beetle 

" Were I to wed again, wife, I make a vow 
I would not wed a wife with a beetle brow." 
"And I," (quoth she), "rather would a hus- 
band wed 
With a beetle brow, than with a beetle head." 

80. "The Shrewd Wife's Tongue." 

" A dog, dame, ruleth in degree 

Above a devil with thee; 

At least sour wind a dog letteth flee, 

Thy nose will stopped be; 

But no devil's word may make decree 

To stop thy tongue I see." 

" Since thou appearest to be," (quoth she), 

" A dogged devil to me, 

To tame thy devilish property 

My tongue shall still be free." 

81. " A Fool's Tongue." 

Upon a fool's provocation 
A wise man will not talk; 
But every light instigation 
May make a fool's tongue walk. 

82. "Of Glass and Lattice." 

Where glaziers and lattice-makers work in 

This one difference in their two feats we find : 
Glass keepeth out the wind and letteth in the 

light ; [wind. 

Lattice keepeth out the light and letteth in the 
Of both sorts I wish when I shall wish any, 
Lattice-makers few, and glaziers many. 

The first hundred of Epigrams 147 

83. " Two Wishers for Two Manner of 

" I wish thou hadst a little narrow mouth, 

wife ! 
Little and little to drop out words in strife." 
" And I wish you, sir, a wide mouth for the 

To speak all that ever you shall speak at once. ' ' 

84. "Of Dispraise." 

All men must be blind and deaf ere thou praise 

For no man seeth or heareth ought to praise 

thee in. 

85. "A Discharge from Hypocrisy." 

Thou a^t no bird of hypocrisy brood, 
For thou fleest all things that might show thee 

87. " Of the Fool and the Gentleman's 

One gentleman having another at meat, 

That guest having a nose deformed, foul and 

great, [by, 

The fool of that house, at this time standing 
Fell thus in hand with that nose suddenly. 
" Nose autem, a great nose as ever I saw ! " 
His master was wroth, and cried, " Hence with 

that daw!" [fool, 

One said : " Talk no more of great noses, ye 
Lest ye be talked withal in the whipping 

school." [speak, 

The fool, warned of great noses no more to 

l 2 

148 The first hundred of Epigrams 

To mend that fault this way these words did 

" Said I, this is a foul, great spittle nose? 
By'r lady ! I lied, it is a fair little nose." 
" Will not that fool be had hence? " (quoth 

the master). 
" Thou wilt, fool ! " (quoth one), be walked 

with a waster, 
If thou speak of any nose, great or small." 
The fool at third warning, minding to mend 

Stepped to the board again, crying as he goes : 
' ' Before God and man ! that man hath no 

nose. ' ' 
The fool was feaked for this ; but what of that ? 
The great fault, here to note, he amended nat ; 
Which is this : not the wise, but the fool, ye 

In cloaking of one fault maketh two or three. 

87. "A Fool Taken for Wise." 

Wisdom and folly in thee, (as men scan), 
Is as it were a thing by itself sool : 
Among fools thou art taken a wise man ; 
And, among wise men, thou art known a fool. 

88. "Things to Forbear." 

Displeasures that fume and fret, 
Good to forgive and forget. 
All oaths, what, when, and where, 
Better forbear than forswear. 
Other men's livings all, 
As good forsteal as forstall. 
Not at bottom, but at brink, 
Better foresee than forthink. 

The first hundred of Epigrams 149 

89. " Meddlers." 

To feed of any fruit at any feast, 
Of all kinds of meddlers, meddle with the least. 
Meddle not with great meddlers ; for, no ques- 
tion, [gestion. 
Meddling with great meddlers maketh ill di- 

90. "Of Dwelling." 

Between Ludgate and Newgate thou canst dwell 

never ; 
For in Ludgate or Newgate thou must dwell 


91. " Of the Milner and the Sexton." 

The milner tolleth corn, the sexton tolleth the 

In which tolling, tollers thrive not alike well. 
Th'one tolleth with the clapper, th 'other in the 

hopper ; [copper. 

Th'one savour'th of silver, th'other soundeth of 

92. "Of Books and Cheese." 

No two things in all things can seem only one ; 
Because two things so must be one thing 

alone. [cheese, 

Howbeit, reading of books and eating of 
No two things, for some things, more like one 

than these. 
The talent of one cheese in mouths of ten men 
Hath ten different tastes in judgment — most 

times when 
He saith " 'tis too salt " ; he saith " 'tis too 

fresh"; [nesh. " 

He saith " 'tis too hard " ; he saith '* 'tis too 
"It is too strong of the rennet," saith he; 

150 The first hundred of Epigrams 

"It is," saith he, "not strong enough for 

11 It is," saith another, " well as can be." 
No two of any ten in one can agree ; [books. 
And, as they judge of cheese, so judge they of 
Onlookers on which, who that narrowly looks, 
May look for this : Saith he, " that book is too 

long." [ <<ve sa y wrong, 

11 Tis too short," saith he. " Nay," saith he, 
'Tis of meet length; and, so fine phrase, or 

fair style, 
The like that book was riot made a good while ; 
And, in touching the truth, invincibly 

wrought. ' ' [nought. ' ' 

11 Tis all lies," saith another, " the book is 
No book, no cheese, be it good, be it bad, 
But praise and dispraise it hath, and hath had. 

93. "Of Heads." 

Some heads have taken : two heads better than 

But ten heads, without wit, I ween as good 


94. ' ' The Woodcock and the Daw. ' ' 

A woodcock and a daw sat upon a plain, 
Both showed comparison each other to disdain. 
" Back ! " (quoth the woodcock). " Straw for 

thee ! " (quoth the daw) ; [awe? " 

"Shall woodcocks keep daws now in dreadful 
"None awe," (quoth the woodcock), "but in 

behaviour; [favour!" 

Ye ought to reverence woodcocks, by your 
" For what cause? " (quoth the daw), " for 

your long bills? " 

The first hundred of Epigrams 151 

"Nay," (quoth the woodcock), "but lords 

will, by their wills, 
Rather have one woodcock than a thousand 

Woodcocks are meat, daws are carron — weigh 

this clause." [agree; 

" Indeed, sir," (said the daw), " I must needs 
Lords love to eat you, and not to eat me — 
Cause of daws' courtesies ! — so, if woodcocks 

thus gather, 
Ye shall have courtesy; for this, I would rather 
Be a daw, and to woodcock courtesy make, 
Than be a woodcock, and of daws courtesy 

I were double a daw, had I not liever 
Birders should, (in their birding endeavour), 
Take up gins and let me go when they geat me, 
Than set gins to get me, for lords to eat me." 

95. "Of Few Words." 
Few words show men wise, wise men do de- 
Which is ofttime true, and oft otherwise. 
In some case silence may as stiffly stand 
With folly, as with wisdom, wisely scanned. 

96. "Wotting and Weening." 
Wotting and weening — were those two things 
one, [none ! 

Who could wot himself wise like thee? I ween 

" Otherwise." 
" I would give the best fardle in my pack 
To be as wise as thou weenest thou art, Jack. " 
" And to be as wise as I wot thou art — 
What would I give, trowest thou? what? not a 
fart! " 

152 The first hundred of Epigrams 

97. "A Much Like Matter." 

"Tom, thou thinkest thyself wise." "Yea, 

what of that, Hugh? 
Thou thinkest thyself wiser than I? " " Yea, 

Tom, true." 
" It seemeth," (said a third man), " by this 

No mastery for fools to ween themselves wise. " 

98. " Wisdom and Folly." 
Thy wisdom and folly both, nay no one 
Can be contained in volumes great nor small. 
Thy wisdom being none, occupieth place none ; 
Thy folly being all, occupieth place all. 

99. " Of Lack." 

One lack of late in thee saw we, 
Which lacketh not now ; for this we see : 
Thou hast lacked lack of honesty ; 
But now that lack lacketh not in thee. 

100. " The Weathercock, the Reed, and 
the Wind. ' ' 

The weathercock and the reed, comparing late 
Their service done to the wind, fell at debate. 
"The wind," (quoth the weathercock), 

" windeth nowhere ; [there. " 

But straight, bolt upright, I stand waiting 
" Forsooth ! " (said the reed), " and where the 

wind is found, 
At every blast I bow down to the ground." 
" Surely," (said the wind), " the waiting of 

the tone, 
And curtsey of the tother I take both one? 

The first hundred of Epigrams 153 

And none of both good ; but rather ill to me : 
For, when I oft in corners secret would be, 
Other the crooked curtsey of the reed, 
Or weathercock's waiting, bewrayeth me with 

As lief is to me, in such serving- pretence, 
Single negligence as double diligence." 
The weathercock and the reed, being both 

blank, [thank." 

Each told himself: "much service have small 


^ Efcree Jmntrretr <&$i 

grammes, bpoit 

tftree fmntrretr 


Jntmitrti mtt matit 6g 



Of Amendment 

No. of 


Wagging- of Beards 
Of Haste 


Breaking of Square 
Looking and Leaping 
Wedding and Hanging . 
Of Delay . . . 
Of Wits .... 



No Lack in Love 


Of Homely Home . 
Giving and Taking . 
Jack and Gill . 
Of the End of a Wit 




x 3 

Of Bought Wit 

Of Haste and Waste 


Making of Malt 

Of an Aching Eye . 

What Thing Beggars Choose 

Of Robbing . . 

Of Need and Law . 





Of Beginning and Ending 
Of Grace 


Of Fore Provision . 

2 3 

Of Saying and Doing 
Of Treading on a Worm . 

2 5 

: 5 8 

The Table to this Book 

Of Ease in an Inn . 

How to Prove a Friend . 

Unwise Wedding . 

Something and Nothing- . 

The Sleeping Dog . 

Of Hap .... 

Of Sight and Mind . 

Of Mirth with Wisdom . 

Of Holding of a Nose . 

An Eye-sore . 

Of Reckoning . 

Setting up a Candle 

Of Clouds and Weather . 

Of Making and Marring 

Of Birds and Birders 

Of Sorrows 

Of Feeding and Teaching 

Of Sufferance . 

Of Him that set His Hand on 

Of a Horse Currying 

Of Shame . ' . 

A Lord's Heart and a Begga 

Of Forgetting . 

Of the Heart and the Heel 

Praise of a Man above a Horse 

Of Weeping . 

Of Two False Knaves 

A Heart in a Hose . 

Of Creeping and Going 

Of Floating and Fleeting 

A Man at an Ebb 

Sight in a Millstone 

Of Throwing . 

Of Store . 

Of One in Prison 

Saints and Devils 

No. of Epigram 

His Money 

r's Purse 

The Table to this Book 


No. of Epigram 

Of Botching 62 

Of a Year's Fair . 

• 63 

Of a Cap and a Head . 

. 64 

A Thief that hath no Fellow 

• 65 

False Measures 

. 66 

Of Clean Sweeping . 

■ 67 

Turning of Tippets . 

. 68 

Of Theft and Receipt 

. 69 

Of Work and Play . 


Of a Painted Sheath 

7 1 

The Hare and the Hound 


Of Beggars Singing 


Of Two Faces .... 


Of Begging .... 


Of Nothing .... 


Of Venturing .... 


Of Shall Be and Shall Not Be . 


The Black Ox 


Of Bridling .... 


Mending and 'Pairing 


Of Running without Turning . 


Buying a Pig .... 


Hungry Flie° .... 


Of Loving a Dog . 


Of Precious Stones . 


Of 111 and Good Wind . 


Of Sooth Boord 


Of Tales Told in the Ear 


Of Going .... 


Of Need 


Taking Heart of Grass . 


Of Nothing and Allthing 


Coveting and Losing 


Of the March Hare . 


How God will Not Do for Us . 


Of Harping on a String . 



The Table to this Book 

A Loss by the Devil's Death 

Of a Sheep's Eye . 

Of Rule . 

Of Blind Bayard . 

Of the Spinster's Thrift 

Of Deafness . 

Of a Good Horse . 

Of Ways to the Wood 

Of One that may Soon Amend 

An 111 Hearer . 

Of a Good Face 

A Sharp Thorn 

Coming and Going . 

The Better Cometh Seldom 

One Driveth Out Another 

Of Burden 

Running and Going 

A Lack of Tools 

Taste of a Man's Tales 

Of a Cat's Look . 

Of Matters Not Laid a Water 

One Put out of a Creed . 

All that may be Won of the Fox 

The Surety of Some Seal 

The Hare's Going Away 

Judgment of Colours 

Hap and Wit . 

Fortune and Fools . 

Of Loser's Words . 

Getting and Spending 

Measure . 

Going Beyond the Wall 

Of Harm 

Wit Kept by Warmth 

Light Coming and Going 

Of Kissing 

No. of 

The Table to this Book 


No. of Epigram. 

Of Leave . . . . . 134 

God in the Almonry 


The Devil in the Horologe 


The Best 


The Worst 


Lasting- of Wonder . 


The Galled Horse . 


Good Beginning and End 


The Still Sow . 


Of Stumbling . 


Of the Shoe and the Sole 


Might and Right . 


Birth and Teaching 


Of Hanging . 


An Old Knave 


A Man's Ear and his Hood 


Gains and Losses . 


Thieves Falling Out 

I S J 

Of a Shorn Face 

l S 2 

A Bench Whistler . 


What God Said to One . 

J 54 

Bowing and Breaking 


Of Wrestling . 


God and the Church 


Of One Tale in All Men Told 


Of Malkin 


Rash Venturing 


A Scabbed Horse 


Of Sitting 


Ale and Wit . 


Of Restitution 


Eating of Flies 


Of the Fox's Preaching . 


Of Poor Men's Souls 


Promise of Silence . 


Of Little Saying 





Of the Tide . 

Praise of Good End 

Of Hearing and Judging 

A Lesson for Looking 

Of a Woman's Lives 

The Crow Called White 

Of the Old Fool . 

Of a Bean 

The Gift of a Pig . 

Change and Robbery 

Of Fair Words 

Of Laughing . 

Of Seeking 

Of a Head under a Girdle 

Of Wide Shooting . 

The Fool's Bolt 

Of a Merchant 

Of Tongue 

Of Speech 

A Busy Body . 

Of Time . 

Of Far Casting 

Of Hunger 

Of Feeding 

Of Mortimer's Sow 

Of Flea-biting 

The Breechless Master 

Meat and Sauce 

Of Proffered Service 

Of Common Meddlers 

Of Enough and a Feast 

Of Plain Fashion . 

Of Him that Cometh Last 

Of Staining 

Of Sitting 

Of Writing to Friends 

The Table to this Book 

No. of 

The Table to this Book 


No. of Epigram. 

Of Great Clerks 

. 206 

Of Killing .... 

. 207 

Of Falsehood .... 

. 208 

Of Bleeding .... 


Of Seeing .... 

. 2IO 

Of Eyes 

. 211 

Of Pepper .... 

. 212 

Of an 111 Stake 

. 213 

Of Sufferance .... 

. 214 

Of Misreckoning 

. 215 

Of Even Reckoning 

. 216 

Of Taking .... 

. 217 

Of Mum ..... 

. 2l8 

Of Stopping a Mouth 

. 219 

Of Casting .... 

. 220 

Of Jack 


Of the Winking Cat 

. 222 

Of Saying Nay 

. 223 

Of the Pie and Crow 

. 224 

Of Saying Nought but Mum . 

• 225 

Of Tongue and Wit 

. 226 

Of Own 

. 227 

Of Spinning . 

. 228 

Of Laughing . 

. 229 

Of Playing 

• 23O 

Of the Wind Blowing 

. 23I 

Of Far and Nigh . 

• 232 

Of Th'instep . 

• 233 

Of Small and Great 

• 234 

Of the Keys 

• 235 

Of Provender . 

. 236 

Of Some Here and There 

• 237 

Of the Parson's Leman . 

. 238 

Of 111 Weed 

• 239 

Of Speaking . 

. 240 

Of Good Silver . . . . 

. 241 

M 2 

i6 4 

Of the Proud Cock 

Of Fat in the Fire 

Of Bow Bent . 

Of God's Being 

Of Kinfolk . 

Of Friendship 

Of Nothing . 

Of Poverty 

Of Ears Glowing 

Of Post and Pillar 

Of May Be . 

Of Use . 

Of Spurning . 

Of the Tying the Bell 

Of Had I Wist 

Of Dancing 

Of the Cats Eating Fish 

Of the Blind . 

Of the Worst and Best 

Of Five Eggs . 

Of Climbing . 

Of the Way . 

Of Waiting . 

Of Rhyme 

Of Fishing 

Of Good 

Of the Hot Irons 

Of the Purse . 

Of Many Hands 

Of the Loth Stake 

Of Having 

Of Counsel 

Of Rome 

Of Speech 

Of One Had in the Wind 

Of One 111 Shod . 

The Table to this Book 

No. of 

The Table to this Book 


No. of Epigram. 

Of All and Nought ... .278 

Of Warning . 

• 279 

Of Birds Flown 

. 280 

Of Leaving 

. 281 

Of getting in Foot . 

. 282 

Of Fast Binding 

• 283 

Of Hap . 

. 284 

Of Time . 

. 285 

Of the Fat Hog . 

. 286 

Of Bale and Boot . 

. 287 

Of Sows . 

. 288 

Of Making a Cross . 

. 289 

Of a Pad 


Of Long Standing . 


Of the Weak . 


Of Catching . 


Of Holding . 


Of Knowledge 


Of Smelling . 


Of Nought Laid Down 


Of Sight of Fare . 


Of the Pot not Broken 


Of Late and Never . 




i. "Of Amendment." 

If every man mend one, all shall be mended : 
This mean to amendment is now intended. 
For though no man look to mend himself, 
brother ; [other. 

Yet each man looketh to control and mend 

2. "Wagging of Beards." 

It is merry in hall when beards wag all: 

" Husband, for this, these words to mind I 

This is meant by men, in their merry eating-; 
Not to wag their beards in brawling and 

threating. " [pins 

" Wife, the meaning hereof differeth not two 
Between wagging of men's beards and 

women's chins." 

3. " Of Haste." 

The hasty man wanteth never woe : 
In hasty women not ever so. 
With suffering husbands hasty wives 
Have oft, we see, full merry .lives. 

4. "Breaking of Square." 

An inch breaketh no square: which, since thou 

hast heard tell, 
Thou dost assay how to break square by an ell. 

1 68 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

" Otherwise." 

An inch breaketh no square: thou breakest 

none, though it do; 
Thou rather bringest square than breakest 

square between two. 

5. " Looking and Leaping." 

Look ere thou leap : nay, thou canst in no wise 

brook [look. 

To look ere thou leap, for thou leapest ere thou 

6. "Wedding and Hanging." 

" Wedding and hanging are destiny, I see; 
Wedding or hanging, which is best, sir? " 

(quoth she). 
" Forsooth ! good wife, hanging I think best," 

(quoth he). [me." 

11 So help me God, good husband ! so thinketh 
Oh, how like lambs, man and wife here agree. 

7. "Of Delay." 

He that will not when he may, 

When he would he shall have nay: 

But to that nay, nay I say : 

If of my wife I delay 

To take shrewd words, yet that stay 

Stayeth them not from me next day. 

8. "Of Wits." 

So many heads, so many wits : nay, nay ! 
We see many heads and no wits, some day. 

9. " No Lack in Love." 

In love is no lack : true, I dare be borrow ; 
In love is never lack of joy or sorrow. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 169 

11 Otherwise." 

In love is no lack: no, in no wooing day; 
But after wedding day, let's hear what ye say. 

10. " Of Homely Home." 

Home is homely: yea, and too homely some- 

Where wives' footstools to their husbands' 
heads climb. 

11. "Giving and Taking." 

Better give than take: all say, but so think 

none. [one. 

All think better take twenty pounds than give 

12. "Jack and Gill." 
All shall be well, Jack shall have Gill: 
Nay, nay ! Gill is wedded to Will. 

13. " Of the End of a Wit." 
Thou art at thy wits' end: which I wonder in 
To see a wit at end before it begin. 

14. "Of Bought Wit." 
Wit is never good till it be bought : 
Thy wit is dear bought, and yet stark nought. 

" Otherwise." 
" Wit is never good till it be bought, Will." 
"Jack, to buy or sell that ware fools can no 

15. "Of Haste and Waste." 
Haste maketh waste: which, perceived by 
sloth, [truth ! 

Sloth will make no haste, he sweareth by his 

170 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

1 6. "Making of Malt." 

Soft fire maketh sweet malt: as malt-makers 

Then, to make sweet malt fire is too rash in 

Whereby, since in hell no good ale is to sell, 
Dry drunken souls cannot like in hell to dwell. 

17. " Of an Aching Eye." 

Better eye out, than alway ache : 
In rage of ache, true as I spake : 
But in mean ache, meanly to moan, 
Better an aching eye than none. 

18. "What Thing Beggars Choose." 

Beggars should be no choosers: but yet they 

will ; 
Who can bring a beggar from choice to beg 


19. " Of Robbing." 

Rob Peter and pay Paul: thou sayest I do; 
But thou robbest and poulst Peter and Paul too. 

20. "Of Need and Law." 

Need hath no law: in some case, in very deed, 
Need hath no law ; and yet of law we have 

21. "Of Beginning and Ending." 

Of a hard beginning cometh a good ending: 
Truth, on this term, is not alway depending; 
Some hardly begin by the feet to sit fast, 
That end with hard hanging by the necks at 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 1 7 1 

22. "Of Grace." 
In space cometh grace : I grant grace may 

come in space ; 
But in rule, by thy rule, never look for grace. 

23. "Of Fore Provision." 
Whoso that knew what would be dear, 
Should need be merchant but one year: 
But thou hast known years, two or three, 
That good conditions would, in thee, 
Both dear and daintily be grown ; 
And yet for all this, thus foreknown 
To warn thee of great fore provision, 
Thou hast not now one good condition. 

24. "Of Saying and Doing." 
Saying and doing, are two things, we say : 
But thy sayings and doings every way 
Join, jump in one; thy words and deeds pro- 
But thou art good, nother in word nor deed. 

25. " Of Treading on a Worm." 
Tread a worm on the tail, and it turneth again : 
But thou treadest on the worm's head that to 

26. "Of Ease in an Inn." 

Thou takest thine ease in thine Inn, so nigh 

That no man in his Inn can take ease by thee. 

" Otherwise." 
Thou takest thine ease in thine Inn: but I see 
Thine Inn taketh nother ease nor profit by 

172 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

2j. " How to Prove a Friend." 

Prove thy friend ere thou need: that canst thou 

no way; 
For without need of thy friend thou art no day. 

28. "Unwise Wedding." 

Who weddeth ere he be wise shall die ere he 

thrive : 
Then shalt not thou be wedded and rich alive. 

29. " Something and Nothing." 

Something is better than nothing: 
In something I grant this othing; 
In some I deny; for I see 
As good have nothing as have thee. 

30. "The Sleeping Dog." 

It is ill waking of a sleeping dog: 

So think many, namely, the wroting hog. 

31. "Of Hap." 

It happeth in an hour that happeth not in 

seven year. 
" That happeth this hour, wife, for thou 

makest me good cheer." 

32. "Of Sight and Mind." 

Out of sight out of mind : this may run right ; 
For all be not in mind that be in sight. 

33. " Of Mirth with Wisdom." 

'Tis good to be merry and wise: 
How shall fools follow that advice? 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 173 

34. "Of Holding of a Nose." 

Thou canst hold my nose to the grindstone : 
So cannot I thine for thou hast none. 

35. " An Eye-sore." 

It is but an eye-sore : but an eye-sore, fie ! 
That eye-sore is as ill as any sore eye. 

36. "Of Reckoning." 

Reckoning without thine host thou must reckon 

twice : 
May not my hosts disappoint that device? 

37. " Setting up a Candle." 
To set up a candle before the devil: 
Dim-sighted devils, I deem, deem it not evil. 

38. "Of Clouds and Weather." 
After clouds black, we shall have weather 

clear : [black ; 

And after weather clear we shall have clouds 
Now hot, now cold, now fair, now foul appear ; 
As weather cleareth, or cloudeth, so must men 


39. "Of Making and Marring." 
Make or mar I will, so sayest thou ever; 
But thou dost ever mar, thou makest never. 

40. "Of Birds and Birders." 
Better one bird in hand, than ten in the wood : 
Better for birders, but for birds not so good. 

41. " Of Sorrows." 
Make not two sorrows of one, if thou can ; 
Lest making of two sorrows mar one man. 

174 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

42. " Of Feeding and Teaching." 

Thou art better fed than taught, I undertake : 
And yet art thou skin and bone, lean as a rake. 

43. "Of Sufferance." 
Of sufferance cometh ease: " How shall I know 

that, wife? " 
" I have suffered thee, without ease, all my 


44. " Of Him that Set his Hand on his 

Money. ' ' 
" Thy hand is on thy halfpenny : and must 
John; [on." 

For thou hast no more coin to set thy hand 

45. " Of a Horse Currying." 

A short horse is soon curried : that is, to wit, 
When short horse and short curriers do meet. 

46. "Of Shame." 
Shame take him that shame thinketh : for thou 
dost think none; [on. 

Thou art too far past shame, shame to think 

47. " A Lord's Heart and a Beggar's 


There is nothing in this world that agreeth 

Than doth a lord's heart and a beggar's purse : 
And yet, as ill as those two do agree, 
Thou canst not bring them asunder to be. 

48. "Of Forgetting." 

The parish priest forgetteth he was parish 

clerk : 
And the parson forgetteth he was parish priest ; 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 175 

But priest, clerk, and no clerk, all who will 

To forget what we were shall see us enticed. 

49. "Of the Heart and the Heel." 

Shall J set at my heart that thou settest at 

thy heel? [weel. 

Nay, a heart in a heel'd hose can never do 

" Otherwise." 
Shall J set at my heart that thou settest at thy 
heel? [not weel. 

Nay, however kibed heels do, kibed hearts do 

50. " Praise of a Man Above a Horse." 
A man may well lead a horse to the water 
But he cannot make him drink, without he list. 
I praise thee above the horse, in this matter ; 
For I, leading thee to drink, thou hast not 

Alway to be ready, without resistance, 
Both to drink, and be drunk, ere thou were 

led thence. 

51. " Of Weeping." 
Better children weep than old men, say wise 
men : [and then. 

But old men weep when children laugh, now 

52. "Of Two False Knaves." 
Two false knaves need no broker: but it is need 
That brokers break false knaves' fellowship 
with speed. 

53. " A Heart in a Hose." 
Thy heart is in thy hose : which jail is not 

strong : 
Thy hose are too full of holes to keep it long. 

176 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

54. "Of Creeping and Going." 

Children must learn to creep ere they can go : 
In the spittle old knaves learn to do so. 

55. "Of Floating and Fleeting." 

Thou art afloat, thou weenest, being in the 

fleet : 
But floating- and fleeting agree not there meet. 

56. "A Man at an Ebb. ' ' 

Thou art at an ebb in Newgate : thou hast 

wrong ; 
But thou shalt be afloat at Tyburn ere long. 

57. "Sight in a Millstone." 

Thou seest far in a millstone : thank God, there- 
fore ! 
Thou seest in a millstone; in nothing more. 

58. "Of Throwing." 

Throw no gift again at the giver's head: 
Namely, no gift of thy wife given in check ; 
If thou do, the rebound may be so red 
That the red blood may run down in thy neck. 

59. " Of Store." 

Store is no sore : yes, store may be a sore ; 
I think it a sore of sores to have store. 

60. "Of One in Prison." 

"Thou art in by the week." "Nay, sir, I 

am here, 
Not in by the week, I am in by the year." 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 177 

61. "Saints and Devils." 

Young saint, old devil: there's mo of woman- 
kind [find. 
Than young devils, old saints in mankind, as I 

62. "Of Botching.' ' 

God is no botcher: but, when God wrought you 

God wrought as like a botcher as God might 


63. "Of a Year's Fair." 

The fair lasteth all the year: "but wife, I tell 

In this year's fair, for fair, I cannot sell thee." 
" I have worse luck," (quoth she), and began 

to scowl : 
" I cannot sell thee there for fair nor for foul." 

64. "Of a Cap and a Head." 

Thy cap is better at ease than thy head : 
Between which twain, might I at wish be sped 
To choose one of the twain, which I would first 

crave — 
Thy whole cap before thy sick head I would 


" Otherwise." 
My cap is better at ease than my head : 
Thy cap is better than thy head, 'tis said. 

65. "A Thief that hath no Fellow." 

Ask my fellow whether I be a thief: 
No way, can that way of thy theft make preef ; 
Thou hast no fellow in theft to catch thee ; 
For there is no thief, (in theft), can match thee. 
hey. 11. n 

178 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

66. " False Measures." 

Thou fearest false measures : which are things 

to fear sore; 
But I fear false measures as much and more. 

67. "Of Clean Sweeping." 

New broom sweepeth clean, which is thus 

understand — 
New broom sweepeth clean in the clean 

sweeper's hand. 

68. "Turning of Tippets." 

He hath turned his tippet — that turn showeth 

Our tippets have been turned, and turned again. 

" Otherwise." 

He hath turned his tippet, dyed it, and dressed 

it [it. 

Upon the right side and fair, and plain pressed 

11 Otherwise." 

He hath turned his tippet, and pressed it so 

That for a turned tippet it hath a fair gloss. 

" Otherwise." 

He hath turned his tippet : Lord ! how he pro- 
vides [both sides. 
Tippets turned, dyed, shorn, and worn bare on 

11 Otherwise." 

He hath turned his tippet twice in my sight : 
First on the wrong side, and last on the right. 

Epigrams u P on Proverbs 179 

" Otherwise." 

He hath turned his tippet: an honest turnings 
To turn his tippet, and turn round for burning. 

11 Otherwise." 

He hath turned his tippet, shorn against the 

wool full, 
And more against his will than against the 


" Otherwise." 

He hath turned his tippet: that have we turned 

all; [as a ball. 

Some half turn, some whole turn, turned round 

11 Otherwise." 

He hath turned his tippet; yea, for a while : 
But might he turn again, Lord ! how he would 

" Otherwise." 

He hath turned his tippet; yet mo turns ye 

mock : 
But who doth wear his tippet a weathercock? 

" Otherwise." 

He hath turned his tippet : now for a novelty ; 
And, for a novelty, would turn straight again 

11 Otherwise." 

He turneth his tippet, or his tippet turneth 

him, [Saint Sim ! 

But which turneth which, I see not, by sweet 

N 2 

180 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

11 Otherwise." 
He hath turned his tippet, 
For simony a sippet. 

" Otherwise." 
He turneth his tippet: if that turning turn him 
Into the pulpit, that turning is turned trim. 

69. "Of Theft and Receipt." 
Where are no receivers, there are no thieves : 
Where nought is to receive, thieves bring no 

70. "Of Work and Play." 

As good to play for nought, as to work for 

nought: [for ought. 

But thou wilt play for nought, and not work 

71. "Of a Painted Sheath." 
Thou makest much of thy painted sheath: and 

wilt do, 
It having not one good knife longing thereto. 

72. "The Hare and the Hound." 
Hold with the hare and run with the hound: 

run there 
As wight as the hound, and as wise as the hare. 

73. "Of Beggars Singing." 
Beggars sing before thieves: but what of that? 
When beggars sing so, thieves see nought to 
laugh at. 

74. " Of Two Faces." 
Thou bearest two faces in one hood : 
Thou hast one ill face, both be not good. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 181 

75. V Of Begging." 

Thou beggesi at wrong door, and so hast 

begged long : [wrong. 

Thy getting, by begging, showeth every door 

76. " Of Nothing." 

Nothing hath no savour: which savourless 

show [we know. 

Showeth nothing better than something that 

11 Otherwise." 

Nothing hath no savour: as ill is this othing — 
111 savoured something as unsavoured nothing. 

yy. "Of Venturing." 

Nought venture, nought have : and venturing 

of much 
May have a little, venturing is now such. 

78. "Of Shall Be and Shall Not Be." 

That shall be, shall be: but all that should be 
Shall not be, nor hath been, as far as I see. 

79. "The Black Ox." 

The black ox never trod on thy foot : 

But the dun ass hath trod on both thy feet. 

Which ass, and thou, may seem sprung of one 

For the ass's pace, and thy pace, are meet. 

80. " Of Bridling." 

"I will bridle thee with rough bit, wife." 

Quoth she : 
" If thou wilt bridle me, I will snaffle thee." 

1 82 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

81. " Mending and 'Pairing." 

I will mend this house, and 'pair another: 
Yea, but when wilt thou mend thyself, brother? 

82. "Of Running without Turning." 

He runneth far that never turneth again: nay, 

nay ! [far way. 

Though the snail never turn he runneth no 

83. " Buying a Pig." 

I will never buy the pig in the poke : 
There's many a foul pig in a fair cloak. 

84. "Hungry Flies." 

Hungry flies bite sore: which shall bite us 

For without hungry flies we shall be never. 

85. " Of Loving a Dog." 

Love me, love my dog: by love to agree 
I love thy dog as well as I love thee. 

86. "Of Precious Stones." 

" Folly to cast precious stones before hogs, 

" Hodge, except they be precious hogs, thou 

sayest true." 

" Otherwise." 

Cast precious stones before hogs : cast stones 

to hogs ? nay ! 
But precious stones have been given to hogs, 

some say. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 183 

87. "Of III and Good Wind." 

it is an ill wind that bloweth no man to good : 
And like good wind that bloweth no man ill. 
But, fearing ill winds, old men most times 

Out of all extreme winds under the hill. 

88. "Of Sooth Boord. " 

Sooth boord is no boord: sooth boord soundeth 

In false fair flattering boord, boord as ye will. 

89. "Of Tales Told in the Ear." 

In at the tone ear and out at the tother : 

If tales told thee go in and out so, brother, 

Then the travel of those tales show much 

wonder : 
Thy two ears be two hundred mile asunder. 

90. " Of Going." 

The further we go the further behind: 

Meet footmen to go with crabs, in my mind. 

" Otherwise." 

The further I go the further behind: 

Stand still, fool ! till thou better footing find. 

91. "Of Need." 

Need maketh th'old wife trot: is she a trotter 

now ? [y° u ? 

Gallop, young wives ! shall th'old trot out-trot 

92. "Taking Heart of Grass." 

" Thou takest heart of grass, wife, not heart 

of grace." [in one place." 

" Come grass, come grace, sir, we graze both 

184 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

93. "Of Nothing and All Thing." 

Where nothing is, a little thing doth ease : 
Where all thing is, nothing can fully please. 

94. "Coveting and Leesing." 

All covet, all lose: this cometh oft in lire. 
But nought have, nought lose : this is ever 

95. "Of the March Hare." 

As mad as a March hare: where madness com- 
pares, [hares ? 
Are not Midsummer hares as mad as March 

96. " How God will Not Do for Us." 

Every man for himself, and God for us all: 
God will not seal that writing, write it who 

97. " Of Harping on a String." 

Harp no more on that string, for it standeth 

too high ; 
And soundeth as basely as a halter, well nigh. 

98. "A Loss by the Devil's Death." 

The devil is dead : then hast thou lost a friend ; 
In all thy doings the devil was at tone end. 

11 Otherwise." 

The devil is dead: one devil is dead, but we see 
Mo devils left alive, as ill or worse than he. 

11 Otherwise." 

The devil is dead: who shall inherit his land? 
Enough : the devil hath left children a thousand. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 185 

" Otherwise." 

The devil is dead: who shall his land rightly 

Thou ! for thou, by condition, art next of kin. 

11 Otherwise." 

The devil is dead: nay, the devil is in a sown; 
But the devil reviveth again, chil lay my gown. 

11 Otherwise." 

The devil is dead: what helpeth the death of 

the devil? 
The devil hath heirs as ill as he, and more evil. 

99. "Of a Sheep's Eye." 

He cast a sheep's eye at her: a strange eye 

To see a sheep's eye look out of a calf's head. 

100. " Of Rule." 

Better rule than be ruled: wife! thy endeavour 
Hath showed thee to be ruled by that rule ever. 

101. "Of Blind Bayard." 

Who so bold as blind Bayard? no beast, of 
truth ; [showeth 

Whereof my bold, blind Bayard, perfect proof 
Both of his boldness, and for his bold blind- 
By late occasion, in a cause of kindness, 
A company of us rode in certain ground ; 
Where we wellnigh an impassable slough 

1 86 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

Their horses, ere they entered, began to stay ; 
Every one horse giving another the way — 
Of good manner, as it were — and more and 

Each horse gave back to set his better before, 
Save this rude rusty, bold, blind Bayard of 

mine, [fine, 

As rashly, as rudely, chopped forth; and in 
Without any curtsey, ere any man bids, 
Blindly and boldly, he leapt into the mids. 
And look how boldly, the mids he leapt in till ; 
Even, with like boldness, in the mids he lay 

still ; [there, 

And trow you the jade, at the best men's words 
Would stir one joint? nay, not the breadth of 

one hair. [ance 

But stared on them, with as bold a counten- 
As that whole had been his by inheritance ; 
He having no more to do there than had I. 
But straight there cometh a cartwear of good 

horse by ; 
By force whereof, and help of all that rout, 
Blind Bayard and I were drawn together out. 
Which blind boldness, by this admonition, 
Except he amend in some meet condition, 
Rather than ride so, I will afoot take pain 
Blind bold Bayard shall not thus bear me again. 

102. "Of the Spinster's Thrift." 

Thus rideth the rock : if the rock be riding, 
The spinster's thrift is set a-foot sliding. 

103. "Of Deafness." 

Who is so deaf as he that will not hear? 
Not the devil till will draw his hearing near. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 1S7 

104. "Of a Good Horse." 

It is a good horse that never stumbleth : 
Then have I a good horse, for my horse 

tumbleth, [never. 

And falleth down right ; my horse stumbleth 
So well am I horsed, and have been horsed 

And so loth to lend him, to field or town's end, 
That, as soon shall my foe ride him as my 


105. "Of Ways to the Wood." 

There be mo ways to the wood than one: 
Of all good ways to wood, thou goest none. 

106. " Of One that may Soon Amend." 

He may soon amend, for he cannot appair : 
A good evidence to prove him the devil's heir. 

107. "An III Hearer." 

I cannot hear on that side: no, truth to tell, 
Of any side thou couldst never yet hear well. 

108. " Of a Good Face." 

" I did set a good face on the matter, Joan." 
" Thou didst borrow it then, Bess, for thou 
hast none." 

109. "A Sharp Thorn." 

It pricketh betimes that shall be a sharp thorn : 
"I ween thou prickest, wife! ere time thou 
were born." 

i8S Epigrams upon Proverbs 

no. "Coming and Going." 
As fast as one goeth another cometh in ure : 
Two buckets in a well come and go so, sure; 
But go or come who shall, while all come and 

Seldom cometh the better : practise preveth so. 

in. "The Better Cometh Seldom." 
Seldom cometh the better, come or go who 

will : 
One nail driveth out another, we see still. 

112. "One Driveth Out Another." 
One nail driveth out another: with strokes so 

That the hammer-head which driveth them 

weareth quite out. 

113. " Of Burden." 
Light burden, far heavy : that dost thou try ; 
A feather borne far will tire thee well nigh. 

" Otherwise." 
Light burden, far heavy, borne for other men ; 
For ourselves, heavy burdens light enough 

" Otherwise." 
Light burden, far heavy: thy brain lacketh 

To bear a pint of wine a pair of butts' length. 

" Otherwise." 

Light burden, far heavy: thou dost find that 

In all light good burdens that lie on thy back. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 189 

11 Otherwise." 

Light burden, far heavy: how can lame folk 

prove, [remove? 

Who in all their lives, their lengths do not 

114. "Running and Going." 
He may ill run that cannot go : 
He that sitteth by the feet find so. 

115. " A Lack of Tools." 
What is a workman without his tools? 
How may baubles be missed among fools ? 

116. "Taste of a Man's Tales." 
A tale of a tub, thy tales taste all of ale : 
Not of pescod ale, sir; my tales are not stale. 

117. "Of a Cat's Look." 
A cat may look on a king: and what of that? 
When a cat so looketh, a cat is but a cat. 

118. "One Put Out of a Creed." 
Thou mayest be in my pater noster, indeed ; 
But surely thou shalt never come in my creed. 
I care not, though I do not; what can I win 
To come in a creed, which creed God is not in? 

119. "All that may be Won of the Fox." 
We can have no more of the fox but the skin: 
And the fox thinketh that too much for us to 

120. "The Surety of Some Seal." 

As sure as it were sealed with butter: forsooth ! 
Some butter seal lasteth as long as some wax 

190 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

121. "The Hares Going Away." 

There goeth the hare away: is she gone, say 

you? [enoiT. 

Let her go ! we have hares and hare-heads 

122. "Judgment of Colours." 

Blind men should judge no colours : should they 

Blind men will judge all colours, for all that. 

123. "Hap and Wit." 

Better be hapjyy than wise : here art thou hit ; 
Thy hap hath ever been better than thy wit. 

11 Otherwise." 

Better be happy than wise : not so, some say ; 
He that can be wise shall be happy, say they. 

124. "Of Fortune to Fools." 

God sendeth fortune to fools : not to everyone ; 
Thou art a fool, and yet, fortune thou hast 

" Otherwise." 

God sendeth fortune to fools: and to wise men 

still [ill. 

God sendeth good fortune, or the devil sendeth 

125. "Of Loosers' Words." 

Let the loosers have their words, all at once : 
Shall the loosers talk? there will be chat for the 

126. "Getting and Spending." 

Ill gotten, ill spent: be that tale true to tell, 
Thou art never like to spend penny well. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 191 

127. "Matters Not Laid a- Water." 

My matter is laid a-water : that's a false tale; 
Thy matters lie, not in water, they lie in ale. 

128 " Measure." 

Measure is a merry mean 
Which, filled with noppy drink, 
When merry drinkers drink off clean 
Then merrily they wink. 

11 Otherwise." 

Measure is a merry mean, 
But I mean measures great; 
Where lips to little pitchers lean, 
Those lips they scantly wet. 

" Otherwise." 

Measure is a merry mean: 

But inch, foot, yard, or ell, 

Those measures are not worth a bean ; 

They measure no drink well. 

" Otherwise." 

Measure is a merry mean: 

Be drink dear or good cheap, 

From measure no wight may thee wean; 

Thou measurest drink by heap. 

" Otherwise." 

Measure is a merry mean: 
Good liquor may not shrink ; 
Thou takest no triacle of Gean 
So wholesome as good drink. 

192 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

" Otherwise." 

Measure is a merry mean 

Showing- indifferency ; 

Would th 'ale-wife play the polling quean? 

Yet measure will not lie. 

" Otherwise." 

Measure is a merry mean 

That doth diligently ; 

Attend the taps of stand and stean 

To moist thy lips full dry. 

" Othep.wise. " 

Measure is a merry mean: 

And measure is thy mate 

To be a deacon, or a dean : 

Thou wouldst not change the state. 

11 Otherwise." 

Measure is a merry mean: 

Who that shall enterprise 

This measure from thee, for to glean, 

Right early must he rise. 

" Otherwise." 

Measure is a merry mean: 

In volumes full or flat ; 

There is no chapter, nor no scene 

That thou appliest like that. 

129. "Going Beyond the Wall." 

Furder than the wall we cannot go: 
Thine visage showeth otherwise, then so ; 
Thou goest, when thou must start out of sight, 
To the wall, and over the wall quite. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 193 

130. " Of Harm." 

A man far from his good is nigh his harm: 
Nigh thy good, next thy harm, as chance may 

11 Otherwise." 

A man far from his good is nigh his harm : 
For thee to fear that it were worse than wood- 

ness ; 
Movables, immovables, land or farm, 
Thou hast not one groat's worth of good or 


" Otherwise." 

A man far from his good is nigh his harm : 
This showeth thee nigh harm ; for, hadst thou 
an arm [stantine, 

That could and would reach hence to Con- 
That arm could not reach to any good of thine. 

131. "Wit Kept by Warmth." 

Thou art wise enough if thou keep thee warm : 
But the least cold that cometh killeth thy wit 
by harm. 

132. "Light Coming and Going." 

Light come, light go, that cometh in ure by 

light feet ; [street. 

But light heads make light feet lie lame in the 

11 Otherwise." 

Light come, light go: for that thou art well 

wrought ; 
For thou art as light as a thing of nought. 
hey. 11. o 

194 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

11 Otherwise." 

Light come, light go : pass, come and go 

In a juggler that lightness is sightly. 

4< Otherwise." 

Light come, light go : thy light going doth 

excel ; 
But thy light coming I like not half so well. 

233. " Of Kissing." 

Unknown, unkissed: and being known, I ween 
Thou art never kissed where thou mayest be 

" Otherwise." 

" Unknown, unkissed: from that desire, wife, 
bless thee; [thee." 

For no man that seeth thee desireth to kiss 

11 From kissing in sight, husband, such as 
flee me, [me." 

Let them come kiss me where they do not see 

134. " Of Leave." 
Leave is light : light enough as thou wilt make 

If thy master give no leave thou wilt take it. 

11 Otherwise." 

Leave is light: yea, and leave is axed lightly; 
And may be granted lightly, axed rightly. 

135. " God in the Almonry." 

There is God in th'almery: a well-played part; 
Shut God in thine almonry out of thy heart. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 195 

136. "The Devil in th'Orologe. " 

The devil is in th'orologe, the hours to try; 
Search hours by the sun; the devil's dial will 

" Otherwise." 

The devil is in th'orologe : now cheer in 

bowls ; 
Let the devil keep our clocks while God keep 

our souls. 

137. "The Best." 

The best is behind: the worst is before; 
Between both, beware drift to the worst shore. 

" Otherwise. " 

The best is behind : we go before too fast ; 
Bide for the best, else it will be lost at last. 

11 Otherwise." 

The best is behind: start thou back and fet it, 
Abide, abide ! a wiser man must get it. 

11 Otherwise." 

The best is behind: even so I thought it would ; 
The best lacketh feet, foot pace with us to hold. 

" Otherwise." 

The best is behind: behind, nor yet before, 
Would I have the best but with us evermore. 

138. "The Worst." 

The worst is behind: 
There art thou assigned. 

o 2 

196 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

11 Otherwise." 

The worst is behind: but the way is not rough ; 
The worst will get before again, time enough. 

" Otherwise." 

The worst is behind : yet behind worse evil 
We see our fare ; at next course cometh the 

" Otherwise." 

The worst is behind: God keep it behind us; 
Or us before it, as it never find us. 

139. "Lasting of Wonder." 

A wonder lasteth but nine days : 

Yes, thou didst nine years gone 

But one good deed, for which some says, 

Thou art yet wondered on. 

140. "Of a Galled Horse." 

Rub a galled horse on the back and he will 

kick : [prick. 

But the galled ass will stand still, rub, spur, or 

141. "Good Beginning and End." 

Of a good beginning there cometh a good end : 
Nay, Lucifer began well, and now a fiend ; 
But of good beginning and ending, truth to 

The best way to end well is to begin well. 

142. "The Still Sow." 

The still sow eateth all the draff : my sow eateth 

none ; [gone. 

The devil stealeth not my sow till her grain be 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 197 

143. " Of Stumbling." 

Stumble at a straw and leap over a block: 
Such stumblers are blockheads, or else they 
do mock. 

" Otherwise." 

Stumble at a straw and leap over a block : 
The ass and the ape seem here joined in one 

144. "Of the Shoe and the Sole." 

The shoe will hold with the sole : no man 

knoweth it 
But he that knoweth how the shoemaker 

seweth it. 

" Otherwise." 
The shoe will hold with the sole: what should 

the shoe do 
But hold with the sole? the sole will hold with 

the shoe. 

145. "Might and Right." 

Might overcometh right: God keep us from 

that might; [right. 

God give us that might that striveth not with 

146. "Birth and Teaching." 
Better unborn than untaught: but, of truth, 
thou [now. 

Were as well taught afore thou were born as 

147. " Of Hanging." 

J have hanged up my hatchet : and 'scaped thy- 

Thou shouldest rather be hanged than thy 
hatchet, else ! 

198 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

148. "An Old Knave." 

An old knave is no babe: no, but we know 
Of an old knave's babe an old knave may 

149. " A Man's Ear and his Hood." 

Thy ear groweth through thy hood: is thy hood 

Or doth thy ear pierce through thy hood, like 

a horn. 

150. "Gains and Losses." 

Light gains make heavy purses : 
Light losses make heavy curses. 

" Otherwise." 

Light gains make heavy purses : and light 

Make heavy hearts, and heavy-hearted curses. 

" Otherwise." 

Light gains make heavy purses : so brag mer- 
chants bare 

When they take three halfpence for twopenny- 
worth ware. 

151. "Thieves Falling Out." 

When thieves fall out true men come to their 

good : 
Come betimes, or else it is gone, by rood ! 

152. "Of a Shorn Face." 

Thy face is shorn against the wool, very deep : 
Have I wool in my face? yea, thou art a sheep. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 199 

153. "A Bench Whistler." 

" Thou art a bench whistler: a shrill, whistling 
wench; [Bench? " 

But how long hast thou whistled in the King's 

" I have whistled in the King's Bench, 
(Geoffrey), [sea." 

As long as thou hast marched in the Marshal- 

154. "What God Said to One." 

Thou art one of them to whom God bade Ho ! 
God took thee for a cart-horse, when God bade 

11 Otherwise." 

Thou art one of them to whom God bade Ho ! 
I ween thou went'st too far when God bade so. 

155. " Bowing and Breaking." 
Better bow than break when straining shall 

stretch ; 
Nay, as good break as bow beyond our reach. 

11 Otherwise." 

Better bow than break: I praise this that ye 

spake ; [break. 

But some bend, or be bent and bowed, till they 

" Otherwise 1 -" 

Better bow than break : it is truly spoken : 
Bowed wands serve for somewhat, so do not 

156. " Of Wrestling." 

The weaker hath the worse in wrestling alway : 
Best for the weak to leave wrestling then, I 

200 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

157. "God and the Church." 

The nearer to the church, the farther from God : 
Both one to thee, a ream thence, or a rod. 

158. " Of One Tale in All Men Told/' 
It must needs be true that every man saith: 
Till all men say one thing - , the judgment 

" Otherwise." 

It must needs be true that every man saith: 
Must it so ? then art thou a fool, in faith ! 

159. " Of Malkin." 

There be mo maids than Malkin: " thou sayest 

truth, Joan; 
But how may we be sure that Malkin one? " 

160. " Rash Venturing." 

I will set all even at six and at seven: 
Yea, and repent all between ten and eleven. 

161. "A Scabbed Horse." 

A scabbed horse is good enough for a scalded 

squire : [hire. 

Your mastership need not care what horse ye 

162. "Of Sitting." 

Between two stools my tail goeth to the 

ground : 
Better stand than sit till sure seat be found. 

163. "Ale and Wit." 

When ale is in wit is out: 
When ale is out wit is in; 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 201 

The first thou showest, out of doubt, 
The last in thee hath not been. 

164. "Of Restitution." 

Steal a goose and stick down a jeather : 
In a feather, and such conscience, 
If I should stick them down together 
I can devise no great difference. 

165. " Eating of Flies." 

" The blind eateth many a fly : not thou, wife ! 
For, though blindness have banished thine eyes' 

Yet when flies in flying to thy mouth be rife, 
Thy tongue is a fly-flap, to flap flies from 


166. "Of the Fox's Preaching." 

When the fox preacheth thenbcware our geese : 
You that fear your geese learn wit here a-piece ; 
Keep foxes from pulpits your geese to teach, 
Or keep geese from sermons when foxes do 

167. "Of Poor Men's Souls." 

Poor men have no souls : no, but poor men had 

souls [ale-bowls. 

Till the drunken souls drowned their souls in 

" Otherwise." 

Poor men have no souls : yes, but we see 
Poor men's souls as poor as their purses be. 

202 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

" Otherwise." 

Poor men have no souls : no, have rich men 

I fear but few ; for they have lost souls many. 

" Otherwise." 

Poor men have no souls : No, no ! the devil 

made them ; 
The sots could not keep their souls while they 

had them. 

168. " Promise of Licence." 

I will say no more till the day be longer: 
No, no ! say no more till thy wit be stronger. 

169. "Of Little Saying." 

Little said, soon amended : 
Little good, soon spended ; 
Little charge, soon attended ; 
Little wit, soon ended. 

170. " Of the Tide." 

The tide tarrieth no man: but here to scan — 
Thou art tied so that thou tarriest every man. 

171. "Praise of Good End." 

" All is well that endeth well: a good saying, 

(wife) ; 
But I would see it proved by th'end of thy life. " 

172. "Of Hearing and Judging." 

Hear all parts ere ye judge any: 
God send such hearers many ! 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 203 

173. "A Lesson for Looking." 

Some man may better steal a horse 
Than some may stand and look upon: 
Where such suspicion standeth in force, 
Flee sight of stolen horse — look on none ! 

174. "Of a Woman's Lives." 

" Wife, a woman hath nine lives like a cat." 
" Sir, you have but one life, and yet enough of 

175. "The Crow Called White." 

I will say the crow is white : art thou so light ? 
What is thy credence when the crow cometh in 
sight ? 

" Otherwise." 

Ye must say the crow is white : in any case 
Not now ; but we were made say so a long 

" Otherwise." 

I will say the crow is white: wilt thou so 
W T hen every man seeth her black? go, fool, 

176. "Of the Old Fool." 

There is no fool to the old fool: 

Go, young fools, to th'old fools to school ! 

" Otherwise." 

There is no fool to th'old fool: speak not that 

loud ; [proud ; 

That praise will make old fools vengeably 

204 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

Which praise of old fools, young fools perceiv- 
ing plain : [dain. 
Young fools and old fools each will other dis- 

177. "Of a Bean." 

A bean in a monk's hood: very good ! 
Here is the bean, but where is the hood? 

178. " The Gift of a Pig." 

" Sir, ye give me a pig of mine own sow." 
li Wife, I give a sow pig to a sow now." 

179. "Change and Robbery." 

Change is no robbery: that is a tale not 
strange ; [change. 

Change is no robbery, but robbery maketh 
Many sweet blessings change to bitter curses 
When true men's money change th into thieves' 

180. " Of Fair Words." 

Fair words make fools fain: that was by old 

schools ; [fools. 

But now we see fair words make wise men 

11 Otherwise." 

Fair words make fools fain: yet fair words 

are cheerful ; 
But foul words make all folk ireful or fearful. 

181. "Of Laughing." 

I laughed in my sleeve, faint laughings there 

to win ; 
Sleeves be too narrow to laugh lustily in. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 205 

182. " Of Seeking." 

" I seek for a thing, wife, that I would not 

find.'* [mind." 

" Good husband ! ye are the more fool, in my 

11 Otherwise." 

Thou seekest for a thing that thou wouldst not 
find : 

And I find all things that I do not seek ; 

In my hap, and thy wit, what difference as- 

I ween not the value of a good green leek. 

183. "Of a Head under a Girdle." 

He hath thy head under his girdle : take heed 
He hang not thy head in his girdle, indeed. 

184. "Of Wide Shooting." 

He shooteth wide: the cause why I see, even 

sith [with. 

He hath not one straight shaft to shoot straight 

" Otherwise." 

He shooteth wide : 
On which side? 

11 Otherwise." 

He shooteth wide : but he cannot amend that ; 
For he seeth not the mark that he shooteth at. 

185. "The Fool's Bolt." 

A fool's bolt is soon shot, and fleeth ofttimes 

But the fool's bolt and the mark come few 

times near. 

2o6 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

186. "Of a Merchant." 

He is a merchant without money or ware : 
Bid that merchant be covered ; he is bare. 

11 Otherwise." 

He is a merchant without money or ware : 
He hath, in some respect, the less cause of 

187. " Of Tongue." 

" Tongue breaketh bone, and bone it hath 
none : 

I wish, (wife), thy tongue may have a bone." 

II And I wish," (quoth she), " a bone in your 

hood." [good." 

11 Wish that bone away," (said he), " 'tis not 
" Then wish you the tother," (quoth she), 

"away." [may 

They did so; which done, now said she : " We 
Witness both that you have your wish in fine, 
But both cannot witness that I have mine." 

" Otherwise." 

Tongue breaketh bone itself having none: 
Such tongues should have bones, or bodkins 
the tone. 

" Otherwise." 

Tongue breaketh bone and bone itself hath 

none: [(Joan)." 

"Yes, thy tongue is full of good ale-bones, 

188. "Of Speech." 

Spare to speak, spare to speed : If speech bring 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 207 

Then wilt thou speed, for thou speakest more 
than need. 

189. "A Busy-body." 

He will have an oar in every man's barge : 
Even in Cock Lord's barge he beareth that 

11 Otherwise." 

He will have an oar in every man's barge : 
Then with some of those oars he roweth at 

190. " Of Time." 

Time is tickle: we may match time in this; 
For we be even as tickle as time is. 

11 Otherwise." 

Time is tickle : 
Chance is fickle ; 
Man is brickie ; 
Frailties pickle 
Powdereth mickle, 
Seasoning lickle. 

191. "Of Far Casting." 

He casteth beyond the moon: great diversity 
Between far casting and wise casting, maybe. 

11 Otherwise." 

He casteth beyond the moon: what need that 

be done? 
We have casting enough a this side the moon. 

192. " Of Hunger." 

Hunger droppeth out of his nose: 
That is the worst kind of the pose. 

208 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

193. " Of Feeding." 

He hath fed till he is as full as a tun : 
I mean an empty tun — what food hath he 

194. "Of Mortimer's Sow." 

Backare, quoth Mortimer to his sow: 

Went that sow back at that bidding, trow you ? 

11 Otherwise." 
Backare, quoth Mortimer to his sow: see 
Mortimer's sow speaketh as good Latin as he. 

11 Otherwise." 

Backare, quoth Mortimer to his sow : 
" The boar shall back first," (quoth she), M I 
make a vow ! 

195. "Of Flea-biting." 

'Tis but a flea-biting : friend, if fleas bite so, 
They will bite men to the bare bones where 
they go. 

196. "The Breechless Master." 

The master weareth no breech : then I protest ! 
The master is a girl, a boy, or a beast. 

197. "Of Meat and Sauce." 

Sweet meat will have sour sauce : to this reason 

Join this conversion : sour sauce will have 

sweet meat. 
Thus, sourness and sweetness, the one and 

In fear of the tone, we hope of the tother. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 209 

" Otherwise." 

Sweet meat will have sour sauce: where that 

is seen, [ween. 

As good lack that meat as have that sauce, I 

198. "Of Proffered Service." 
Proffered service stinketh : thou art deceived 

Thy proffered service stinketh not ; thou 
stinkest thyself. 

" Otherwise." 
Proffered service stinketh: more fool thou to 

proffer it ! 
Thou shouldest season thy service ere thou 

offer it. 

199. "Of Common Meddlers." 

He that meddleth with all thing may shoe the 

gosling : 
If all such meddlers were set to goose-shoeing, 
No goose need go barefoot between this and 

Greece ; 
For so : we should have as many goose-shoeers 

as geese. 

200. " Of Enough and a Feast." 

As good enough as a feast: yea God save it ! 
Enough were even as good if we might have it. 

11 Otherwise." 

As good enough as a feast: 
This for a truth say most and least. 
But what enough is justly meant, 
And with enough to be content, 

hey. 11. p 

210 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

Those are two points that few or none 
Can learn to know, and stand upon. 

201. ''Of Plain Fashion." 
The plain fashion is best: what! plain without 
pleats? [bleats. 

That fashion commendeth the calf when it 

" Otherwise." 

The plain fashion is best : and accepted best 
In things that please ears, but not in the rest. 

11 Otherwise." 
The plain fashion is best : that's truly expressed 
Where fashioners of plain fashions are honest. 

202. "Of Him that Cometh Last." 
He that cometh last make all fast: to this, say 

All is made fast ere the last comer come. 

11 Otherwise."' 
He that cometh last make all fast: 
Who shall make him fast that cometh last? 

203. "Of Striving." 
He striveth against the stream: by custom's 

That striver is either a fish or a fool. 

204. " Of Sitting." 
Better sit still than rise and fall: 
•If all fall ye may hang- when ye shall. 

205. "Of Writing to Friends." 
Ye may write to your friends that ye are in 
health : [wealth ? 

Who may write to his friends that he is in 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 211 

206. "Of Great Clerks." 
The greatest clerks be not the wisest men : 
Be small learned, or unlearned fools, wisest 

207. " Of Killing." 
He will kill a man for a mess of mustard : 
He will kill ten men then for a custard. 

208. "Of Falsehood." 

There is falsehood in fellowship : there is so ; 
The fellowship is small else as the world doth 

" Otherwise." 

There is falsehood in fellowship : no wonder; 
Falsehood and fellowship are seldom asunder. 

209. "Of Bleeding." 

Here lieth all and bleedeth: all? that's false 

and foolish ; [fish. 

Thou never sawest blood bleed out of a stock- 

210. " Of Seeing." 

Seest me and seest me not: both one thing, 

forsooth ! [doeth. 

As good unseen as seen whose sight no good 

211. " Of Ills." 
Of two ills choose the least: of ills many 
The least is too great to choose any. 

" Otherwise." 
Of two ills choose the least : may we choose ills 
now? [yow. 

Choose on, choosers ! the like choice never had 

p 2 

212 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

212. " Of Pepper." 

Thou takest pepper in the nose : and yet thy 

nose [rose. 

Looketh not black like pepper, but red like the 

11 Otherwise." 
Thou takest pepper in the nose; which needeth 

not — 
Thy nose without pepper is fiery red-hot. 

" Otherwise." 
Thou takest pepper in the nose, which so 

Showeth thy nose better seasoned than thy 

head reasoned. 

213. "Of an III Stake." 

An ill stake that cannot stand one year in a 

hedge : 
If the stake self fail, the stake is as ye allege; 
But, if stake stobbers will not let stakes stand, 
Blame not the stake; blame the stake stobber's 


214. "Of Sufferance." 
Sufferance is no quittance : but, suffering too 

long [wrong. 

Showeth much like a quittance in suffering of 

215. "Of Misreckoning. " 
Misreckoning is no payment : yes ! as doth fall 
In some reckoners, misreckoning is payment 

" Otherwise." 
Misreckoning is no payment: to avoid that, 
Some debtors with their creditors reckon nat. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 213 

216. "Of Even Reckoning." 

Even reckoning maketh long friends : 
Odd reckoning maketh many friends. 

217. " Of Taking." 
/ will take as falleth in the sheaf: wherever it 
fall [all. 

In the sheaf, or out of the sheaf, thou takest 

218. " Of Mum." 
Mum is counsel in every man we see ; 
But mum except, nothing is counsel in thee. 

219. " Of Stopping a Mouth." 
" He shall not stop my mouth." " No, Nan, I 

think that; 
I believe all the devils in hell stoppeth it nat." 

220. " Of Casting." 
He is cast in his own turn : that is likely ; 
And yet in all turns he turneth wondrous 

221. "Of Jack." 

He is Jack out of office : curtsey, withdraw ! 
Jack once out of office, all hail Jack daw ! 

222. "Of the Winking Cat." 
Let the cat wink and let the mouse run: run, 

mice ! 
Or else the cat's claws will catch you at a trice. 

11 Otherwise." 
Let the cat wink and let the mouse run: run, 
rats ! [cats. 

Small holes keep small mice from wily winking 

214 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

" Otherwise." 
Let the cat wink and let the mouse run: creep, 
mouse, creep ! [sleep. 

Run not before cats that wink more than they 

223. "Of Saying Nay." 
Say nay, and take it : yea, say nay and take it ; 
But say nay or say ye never forsake it. 

11 Otherwise." 

Say nay and take it : hear me say this othing : 
Say nother yea nor nay; tak't and say nothing. 

224. "Of the Pie and Crow." 
Not too high for the pie nor to low for the 

crow : 
High pies made low crows; we have enough, 

I trow. 

225. "Of Saying Nought but Mum." 
I will say nought hut mum: 
Thou showest the more wit some. 

" Otherwise." 
I will say nought hut mum : that I beseech ; 
Mum hath a grace in thee far more than 

226. "Of Tongue and Wit." 
Thy tongue runneth before thy wit: that's no 

rash race; 
For, so may it run running but a snail pace. 

227. " Of Own." 
Own is own 
Where's own known. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 215 

11 Otherwise." 

Own is own: these words I speak with eyes 

For all mine own is in other men's keeping. 
But good is that riches where it is heapt 
That from th'owner by no means can be kept. 

228. "Of Spinning." 
She hath spun a fair thread: which showeth, 

That a foul spinner may spin a fair thread. 

229. "Of Laughing." 

They laugh that win: falsely to win and keep, 
Winners may laugh when they have cause to 

" Otherwise." 

They laugh that win: by theft to win and keep, 
Thieves at stealing laugh, thieves at hanging 

230. " Of Playing." 

He playeth best that wins : that deny I will ; 
Many players win much that play very ill. 

" Otherwise." 

He playeth best that wins : there is a lie run- 
ning; _ [ning. 
Many win much, much more by hap, than cun- 

231. "Of the Wind Blowing." 

Let this wind overblow: when over blow, 
This wind will over blow us first, I trow. 

216 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

232. "Of Far and Nigh." 

I have seen as far come as nigh : come no near ; 
The ferder thou art hence, the better is it here. 

233. " Of Th'instep." 

He is high in th'instep: his steps may be high, 
But to step in good steps he steppeth nothing 

234. "Of Small and Great." 

Many small make a great: and some great 

made small ; 
Thou hadst great good manners and thou hast 

none at all. 

235. "Of the Keys." 

The keys hang not all by one man's girdle : 

no ! [so ? 

Every key hath a clog : who would be clogged 

236. "Of Provender." 

His provender pricketh him: prick him? gods 

forbod ! 
What is his provender? pins, by likelihood ! 

" Otherwise." 

His provender pricketh him: where grew that 

Pricking provender as ill as boats borne. 



His provender pricketh him: that horse must 

need stir; [spur. 

Pricked within with provender, without with 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 2 1 7 

237. "Of Some Here and There." 

Here some and there some : yeaj, here and there 

some ; [come. 

But most when, and most where no some doth 

238. "Of the Parson's Leman. " 

She is as tender as a parson's leman: 
Parson's lemans are tough enough now and 

239. "Of III Weed." 

Ill weed groweth fast : it groweth fast indeed ; 
The corn can scantily grow for the weed. 

" Otherwise." 

Ill weed groweth fast : that is showing 
In the show of thy fast growing. 

240. " Of Sinking." 

He shall sink in his own sin: yea, when he 

sinketh ; 
But he fleeth in his own sin yet, methinketh. 

241. "Of Good Silver." 
She thinketh her farthing good silver : but, trust 

me ! 
She is quicksilver what ever her farthing be. 

242. "Of the Proud Cock." 
Every cock is proud on his own dunghill: 
The hen is proud enough there, mark who will. 

243. "Of Fat in the Fire." 

The fat is in the fire : that is a shrewd turn ; 
Cast the lean after; fat and lean, let all burn ! 

2i 8 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

244. "Of Bow Bent." 
I have the bent of his bow: that I know; 
What bolts shootest thou from that bow? fools' 
bolts, I trow ! 

245. " Of God's Being." 
God is where he was : yea, but so art not thou ; 
Thou were abroad late, and art in Newgate 

246. "Of Kinsfolk." 

Many kinsfolk, few friends : 
Few friends and many fiends. 

247. "Of Friendship." 
A friend is never known till a man have need : 
Nor then, nother, for any I know, indeed. 

248. "Of Nothing." 

Where nothing is, the king must lose his 

right : 
Where all thing is, there right is lost by might. 

249. "Of Poverty." 

Poverty parteth fellowship: that's not true 

Poverty in beggars parteth fellowship never. 

250. "Of Ears Glowing." 
Thine ears may glow: "let's see whether they 
glow, John. [none." 

I lie : thine ears cannot glow, for thou hast 

251. " Of Post and Pillar." 
Tossed from post to pillar: thou art a pillar 
strong ; [long. 

And thou hast been a pillar, some say, too 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 219 

252. " Of May Be." 

Be as be may is no banning: 

But be as be shall hath much scanning. 

253. "Of Use." 

Use maketh mastery : this is a true tale to tell ; 
In that use hath made thee prick a purse so 

254. "Of Spurning." 

Folly to spurn or kick against the hard wall: 
Being shod with cakebread that spurner 
marreth all. 

11 Otherwise." 

Folly to spurn or kick against the hard wall: 
But against soft walls spurners spurn and kick 

255. "Of Tying the Bell." 

Who shall tie the bell about the cat's neck 

now? [I know." 

" Not I," (quoth the mouse), " for a thing that 

256. "Of Had I Wist." 

" Beware of Had I wist, wife." "Oh man! 

'tis too late [mate." 

To beware thereof since thou were my wedded 

257. "Of Dancing." 

He danceth attendance: -are attendants danc- 
ing? [ing. 
Then have we much dancing with small avanc- 

220 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

258. "Of the Cat Eating Fish." 

The cat would eat fish but she will not wet her 

feet : 
She thinketh flesh with dry feet more sweet 

than fish with weet. 

259. "Of the Blind." 
The blind eat many a fly: that we find 
Chiefly where carvers to the blind are blind. 

260. "Of the Worst and Best." 

Provide for the worst : the best will save itself ; 
For that saving - side thou art a subtle elf. 
Of all kinds of things thou hast provision 
pressed, [best. 

For thy neighbours the worst, for thyself the 

261. "Of Five Eggs." 

He cometh in with his five eggs: what eggs to 

call? [daws' eggs all. 

Hen eggs, goose eggs, or duck eggs? nay, 

262. "Of Climbing." 

He that never climbed never fell: some men 

climb [time. 

For doves' nests and find daws' nests, some- 

263. " Of the Way." 

It is out of my way : so it lightly may ; 

To all good things thy way is out of the way. 

264. " Of Waiting." 
He waiteth for moonshine in the water: 
Such waiting, such winning; that's a meet 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 221 

265. "Of Rhyme." 

It may rhyme but it accordeth not: " 'cordeth 

not, Will? 
Beware of 'cording rhymes ; those rhymes 

agree ill." 

266. "Of Fishing." 

It is ill fishing before the net: 

Worse fishing behind, as nets are set. 

267. " Of Good." 

He knoweth none end of his good: mark his 

winning; [ning. 

He knoweth of his good none end., nor begin- 

268. "Of the Hot Iron." 

When the iron is hot, strike : strike hot iron and 

steel ; 
But gold or silver to strike we have no deal. 

269. "Of the Purse." 
Thy purse is threadbare, we see, on the out- 
And more bare on the inside when both sides 
are tried. 

270. "Of Many Hands." 

Many hands make light work : many hands ? 

yea, mark ! 
Ye must say thus : many light hands make 

light wark. 

" Otherwise." 
Many hands make light work: no work is 
'signed thee; 

222 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

Thou canst not work; thy hands be bound 
behind thee. 

271. "Of the Loath Stake." 

The loath stake standeth long: we have many 

loath stakes ; [makes. 

Each stake well-nigh to other itself, loath 

11 Otherwise." 
The loath stake standeth long; in some place, 

but some hand 
Plucketh up all stakes, suffering no stake 

long to stand. 

2^2. " Of Having." 
Better to have than wish: nay, ye may so 
crave [have. 

That better to wish ten times than once to 

" Otherwise." 
Better to have than wish: not alway, cousin ! 
What if ye rashly wished stripes now, a dozen ? 

" Otherwise." 
Better to have than wish: better have as we 
have [crave. 

Than to have at wish all that wishers would 

273. "Of Counsel." 
Three may keep counsel if twain be away: 
But one fool doth oft his own counsel bewray. 

" Otherwise." 

Three may keep counsel if twain be away : 
Some women, I hear say, that saying denay. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 223 

274. " Of- Rome." 
Rome was not built on one day: that is well 

known ; 
Nor in one day Rome will not be overthrown. 
For where Rome seemed pulled down in one 

day, brother, 
There is Rome set up again in another. 

275. " Of Speech." 
Spare to speak, spare to speed: 
Dumb men win nought indeed ; 
And speech, as speech may fall, 
May win nought and lese all. 

276. "Of One Had in the Wind." 
/ have him in the wind: well, sir, it is your 

mind [wind. 

To have him in the wind, or hang him in the 

277. "Of One III Shod." 
Who is worse shod than is the shoemaker's 

wife ? 
The devil's wife; she was never shod in her life. 

278. "Of All and Nought." 
He would all have and nought forego : no ! 
He may all forego and nought have, so ! 

279. "Of Warning." 
I gave him Scarborough warning: Scar- 
borough? [borough. 
That warning came short to bring good har- 

280. "Of Birds Flown." 
The birds are flown: that bird's nest was ill 
watched ; 

224 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

Birds' wings once full summ'd birds will hardly 
be catched. 

" Otherwise." 
The birds are flown. Flown? that flight no 
wonder brings ; [wings. 

Birds may soon flee where birders clip no birds' 

281. "Of Leaving." 
Leave it or it leave you: leave what? folly? 
He can never leave it nor it him, wholly. 

282. " Of Setting in Foot." 

He hath set in foot: things by wit to be sped, 
His foot shall do service as good as his head. 

" Otherwise." 
/ will set in foot: friend, thou mayest set in fit 
Foot, hand, and head, but thou canst set in 
no wit. 

283. "Of Fast Binding." 

Fast bind, fast find: nay, thou were 'prentice 

fast bound, 
And yet rannest thou away where thou couldst 

not be found. 

284. " Of Hap." 
Happy man, happy dole : so say sick and 

whole ; 
But good hap is dainty : most men have seldom 

good dole. 

" Otherwise." 
Happy man, happy dole : hap is full of holes ; 
Hap catcheth and holdeth very few good doles. 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 225 

285. "Of Time." 
Take time when time cometh: we are ofttimcs 

told of it; 
But when time cometh yet can we take no hold 

of it. 

11 Otherwise." 
Take time when time cometh : assay to be bold 

of it; 
But slippery as an eel's tail is the hold of it. 

11 Otherwise." 
Take time when time cometh : are we set time 
to take? [break. 

Beware time, in meantime, take not us in 

" Otherwise." 
Take time when time cometh : when time 
cometh — thou sayest well ! [tell. 

But when cometh good time to take, I cannot 

286. " Of the Fat froc." 

Every man basteth the fat hog: nay, friend, 

nay ! 
Mast faileth sore this year, fat hogs pine away. 

" Otherwise." 

Every man basteth the fat hog, 'tis agreed 
That those hogs shall have most help that have 
least need. 

287. "The Bale and Boot." 

When bale is hekst, boot is next: though boot 
be nigh, [high? 

What helpeth boot where bale is ever most 
hey. 11. Q 

226 Epigrams upon Proverbs 

288. "Of Sows." 
" As meet as a sow to bear a saddle, John." 
11 A sow to bear a saddle? we have seen none; 
But though sows bear no saddles, yet may we 

We see saddles bear sows, well-nigh every day. 

289. "Of Making a Cross." 
/ will make a cross upon this gate : yea, cross 

Thy crosses be on gates all, in thy purse none. 

290. " Of a Pad." 
It will breed a pad in the straw: very well! 
Beware it breed not a padlock on thy heel. 

291. "Of Long Standing." 
Long standing and small offering maketh poor 
parsons : [garsons. 

Long waiting and small wages maketh poor 

292. "Of the Weaker." 
The weaker goeth to the pot: yea, and God 

wot ! 
Some the weaker for oft going to the pot. 

293. "Of Catching." 

Catch that catch may: after catching and 

Pilling and polling, we fall now to patching. 

294. "Of Holding." 

Hold fast when ye have it: if it be not thine, 
Hold fast and run fast when thou hast it, 
friend mine ! 

Epigrams upon Proverbs 227 

295. "Of Knowledge." 

I know him as well as the beggar knoweth his 

Thou knowest him ; but when wilt thou know 

thyself, wag? 

296. "Of Smellings." 
7 smelt him out further than he might smell 

The smeller of smellers then, thou art even he ! 

297. "Of Nought Laid Down." 

Nought lay down, nought take up : well said ! 
Nought lie down, nought rise up : well weighed ! 

298. "Of Sight and Fare." 

Ye see your fare : a very strange fare to see ; 
A blind man may see our fare as well as we. 

299. "Of the Pot Not Broken." 

Neither pot broken nor water spilt: water 
Thou spillest none ; but thou spillest all other 

300. "Of Late and Never." 
Better late than never : yea, mate ! 
But as good never as too late. 

" Otherwise." 
Better late than never: 
That is not true ever ; 
Some things, to rule in rate, 
Better never than late. 


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y/««o Chrifti 


Were it as perilous to deal cards at play, 
As it is quarrelous to deal books this day, 
One and forty men, among one and fifty, 
Would flee one and thirty, to flee one un- 
thrifty. [ m gS 
And yet cards so dealt should have, in reveal- 
Foredeal of books in this hard time of dealing. 
Cards be tooted on but on the tone side : 
Books on both sides; in all places pored and 

Not to content, but to contend, upon spial 
Of least tittle, that can come in trial. 
If the best writer to write be much afraid, 
More may I, (the worst), by fearful fear be 
stayed. [me so, 

And were not this one thing, fear should stay 
That book or ballet, I never durst write mo. 
In all my simple writing never meant I 
To touch any private person displeasantly. 
Nor none do I touch here by name, but only 

Which is myself; whom I may be bold upon. 
This meant in my making, since proof doth 

I pray you readers to scan this, by this square. 
As I, for mirth, merrily did make it, 
So you, in mirth, merrily will take it. 



Of weening and wotting . 

Of a man of law and his clients 

An advice against mocking 

Of itching and smarting 

Of a sharp tongue . 

Of a horse 

Of a butler and a horse 

Of brass . 

Of a louse's dwelling-place 

Of a strange glass . 

Of driving and drawing 

Of long suits . 

Of lightness . 

Of a disagreement . 

Of cheapening of conies 

Of a wife having child 

Of a bachelor and a maid 

Of short payment . 

Whence certain things came first 

Of furred and lined gowns 

Of a wine-drawer . 

Short checks between a man and his wife 

Of a woman decked in two colours 

Of unsweet breath . 

Of clipping and cleansing 

Of a man and his wife's departing 

An account of a man's children 

Of a woman of Huntington 

No. of Epigram 







J 5 


2 3 



Of a laundress 

Of a cutter of purslane . 

Of one that standeth in his own conceit 

Of one that heard without ears 

Of an archer's roving 

Of peril to one by the number of three 

Of gloria patri 

Of a dyer 

Of a jug - .... 

Of the three cups . 

Of brass and iron . 

Of Jack and John . 

Of wrestling . 

Of pride .... 

Of one hanged 

Of a debtor . 

Of loving of a goose 

Of harp strings 

Of fortune 

Of choice 

Of a false brag 

Of lying and true saying 

Of a daw pate 

Of water and wine . 

Between dogs and a deer 

Of twelve and one . 

Of fardingales 

Precepts of one to his wife 

Of a man expert 

Of deliverance from ill . 

Of cutting of the herb thyme 

Of one fearing the sweat 

Of one thinking on another 

Of one being at a point . 

Of testons 

Of red testons 

The Table 

No. of Epigram 
2 9 

The Table 

Of stamping . 

Of John Long the carrier 

Of turning 

Of Master Carter 

Of going- far . 

How money is made lame 

Of an old wooer 

Of a young wooer 

Of weakness and strength 

Warning of pride 

Of patience 

Of pleasing 

Of a handgun and a hand 

Of brass and silver 

A difference between wise men and 

Of a pithy wit 

Of choice to be a wise man or a fool 

Of a knight's carterly collar 

Of males and male horses 

A man discommended 

Of running 

Of polling 

Of plate lent forth . 

Of a man of law and his wife 

Of pens and pence . 

Of a woman's thin tongue 

Of drinking to a man 

Of running at tilt 

Of expense 

Of fraying of babes 

Of reeds and oaks . 

Of buying a mortar 

Of a stepmother 

Of a liar .... 

Of tongues and pinsons . 

Of Heywood . 




No. of Epigram 


















i. "Of Weening and Wotting." 

Wise men in old time would ween themselves 

fools ; [wise. 

Fools now in new time will ween themselves 

Ween wise and wot wise differ in wise schools : 

To ween themselves wise, when fools so devise, 

As foolish as fruitless is th 'enterprise. 

This case is thus adjudged, in wisdom's school : 

Who weeneth himself wise, wisdom wotteth 

him a fool. [one, 

Made by John Heywood to these fools every- 

And made of John Heywood when he weeneth 

himself none. 

2. "Of a Man of Law and his Clients." 

Twenty clients to one man of law 
For counsel, in twenty matters, did draw. 
Each one praying- at one instant to speed, 
As all at once would have speed to proceed. 
" Friends all," (quoth the learned man), cl I'll 

speak with none 
Till one barber have shaven all, one by one." 
To a barber they went all together : 
And being shaven, they returned again thither. 

238 The fifth hundred of Epigrams 

" Ye have," (quoth the lawyer), " tarried long 
hence." [shaven since 

"Sir," (quoth one), "twenty could not be 
Of one barber; for, ye well understand, 
One barber can have but one shaving hand." 
" Nor one lawyer," (quoth he), "but one talk- 
ing tongue." 
Learn clients this lesson of this lawyer sprung : 
Like as the barber, one after one must shave, 
So clients, of counsellors, counsel must have. 

3. "An Advice against Mocking." 

Use to thy true friend no derision ; 
If thy friend spy it, he taketh it poison. 
Though thy friend dissemble th 'espial clearly, 
Yet spied in a friend it toucheth him nearly. 
Telling thy friend his fault, mocking him not, 
If he thank thee not, then is he a sot. 

4. "Of Itching and Smarting." 

Itching and smarting, both touch us at quick. 
When we itch, we scratch : when we smart, 

we kick. 
But, in our kicking at pur present smart, 
Let us consider our former desart. 

5. "Of a Sharp Tongue." 

11 Wife, I perceive thy tongue was made at 

Edgware. " [by there. " 

" Yea, sir, and yours made at Rayleigh, hard 

6. "Of a Horse." 

A tilt horse, alias a beer horse to be — 
Which wouldst thou be? a beer horse, I say 
to thee. [beer, 

When the horse is seen cheerily to draw the 
He is so praised that he may be proud to hear. 

The fifth hundred of Epigrams 239 

At tilt, when the horse runneth as fast as he 
can, [the man. 

All cry: "Well run! " not to the horse, to 
And if the horse fall, with the man overlaid, 
Then cry they all : "A vengeance on that lame 
jade! " 

7. "Of a Butler and a Horse." 

The butler and the beer horse both be like one : 
They draw beer both ; that is truth to bide one. 
" Both draw beer, indeed, but yet they differ, 

The butler draweth and drinketh beer, the 

horse drinketh none." 

8. " Of Brass." 

I perceive well now that brass is waxen proud, 
Because brass so much with silver is allowed ; 
And being- both joined, since they most by 
brass stand, [hand. 

That maketh brass bold to stand on the upper 

9. "Of a Louse's Dwelling-place." 

"Were thou a louse and shouldst choose one 

dwelling-place, [this case : 

Whither wouldst thou dwell, having choice in 

In men's big breeches, or in women's thick 

ruffs? " 
" I would be, both for the places and stuffs, 
In summer with women, in winter with men. 
In summer the woman's neck pleasant then. 
In winter the man's breech is close and warm : 
Large walks for life to walk warm without 
harm ; [halls — 

Galleries, gable ends, cambers, parlours, 
Cold frost to defend, a dozen double walls. 

240 The fifth hundred of Epigrams 

Some sealed, some hanged, some dyed, some 
painted, some stained ; [tained. 

Rents of all size, great and small rents re- 
And when, by louse biting, the leg is itching, 
The bars of men's breeches have such strong 
stitching, [and stamp ! — 

Such bolstering, such 'broidering — let men stare 
The louse is as safe there as he were in a camp. 
In winter, I say, these breeches are alone; 
But then in summer let the louse thence be 

For fear of a plague ; if he then thither get, 
A thousand to one he shall die of the sweat." 

10. "Of a Strange Glass." 

Good God ! what a glass" to view is this? 

See what an unsightly sight here is : 

Great promise, small performance ; 

Great countenance, small continuance ; 

Great winning, small saving; 

Great hoping, small having; 

Great hives, small honey; 

Great purses, small money; 

Great gaps, small bushes ; 

Great spears, small pushes ; 

Great wine, small water ; 

Great words, small matter ; 

Great bottom, small brink ; 

Great brewing, small drink; 

Great rent, small place ; 

Great space, small grace; 

Great drift, small shift ; 

Great gift, small thrift ; 

Great watching, small catching ; 

Great patching, small matching ; 

The fifth hundred of Epigrams 24 1 

Great blood, small brute; 
Great flowers, small fruit ; 
Great woods, small oaks ; 
Great staves, small strokes ; 
Great hens, small eggs ; 
Great hose, small legs ; 
Great study, small art ; 
Great desire, small desert ; 
Great giving, small taking; 
Great marring, small making ; 
Great ships, small sailing; 
Great loss, small availing; 
Great marking, small minding; 
Great seeking, small finding; 
Great lawing, small loving; 
Great stirring, small moving; 
Great sowing, small growing; 
Great trowing, small knowing — 

I trow so great ill, and so small good 
In one glass, together, never stood. 

11. "Of Drinking and Drawing." 

"If thou must be forced forth to take journey 

quick, [forth, Dick? " 

Whither wouldst thou be driven forth, or drawn 

II I would be driven forth, Jack; for, as doth 

Drawing and hanging draw vengeable near. 
I think it less ill, Jack, having choice in scope, 
To be driven with the whip than drawn to the 

rope. ' ' 

12. "Of Long Suits." 

Suits hang half a year in Westminster Hall ; 
At Tyburn, half an hour's hanging endeth all. 


242 The fifth hundred of Epigrams 

13. "Of Lightness." 

"Nothing is lighter than a feather, Kit." 
"Yes, Clim." "What light thing is that?" 
" Thy light wit." 

14. "Of a Disagreement." 

Each one man wellnigh falleth out with 

And likewise each thing disagreeth with other : 
Namely, malt and water; these two things are 
So far fallen asunder, by scornful square, 
That no brewer, be he lusty or lither, 
Dare couch malt and water in house together. 
But, chiefly sour water now beareth such sway 
That, sweet malt from brewhouse, water 

driveth away. 

15. "Of Cheapening of Conies." 

" Jane, thou sellest sweet conies in this poultry- 
shop ; 
But none so sweet as thyself, sweet cony mop ! 
What is the price of thee? " "Forsooth! " 

she told : 
" At what price soever myself shall be sold, 
Strange is the hearing, for ware or for money, 
To hear a woodcock cheapen a cony." 

16. "Of a Wife having Child." 

" My wife hath a child now at four score and 

ten! " 
"At four score and ten years? nay, friend, 

nay ! what then? " [meant." 

" At four score and ten quarters of a year I 

The fifth hundred of Epigrams 243 

" Meant ye so? and I meant years; by which 

extent [smell 

Your wife might seem your mother ; but now I 

You may seem your wife's father wonderfool 


17. " Of a Bachelor and a Maid." 

" Is that bachelor a wooer to that maid? " 
"The commons common so; 'tis commonly 

" Where dwelleth that bachelor? " " Wide a 

bow of Bridewell." 
" Where dwelleth that maid? " "At Broken 

Wharf very well." 

18. "Of Short Payment." 

Thy debtor will pay thee shortly : shortly? 
He will make that short lie, a long lie, dread I. 

19. "Whence Certain Things came First." 

Whence come great breeches? from Little 

Whence come great ruffs? from Small Brain- 
forth they came. [Square Thrift. 
Whence come these round fardingales? from 
Whence come deep coped hats? from Shallow 
Shift. [of Evil. 
Whence come 'broidered gards? from the Town 
Whence come uncombed staring heads? from 
the devil ! [Folly, John. 
Whence come these women's scarves? from 
Whence come their glittering spangs? from 
Much Wanton. [osity. 
Whence come perfumed gloves? from Curi- 
Whence come fine trapped moils? from Super- 
fluity, [shapen shoon. 
Whence come corned crooked toes ? from Short 

r 2 

244 The fifth hundred of Epigrams 

Whence come wild high lookers? from Mid- 
summer moon. [Painters' tools. 
Whence come fair painted faces? from 
Whence come all these? from the vicar of Saint 

20. "Of Furred and Lined Gowns." 

Thick furred gowns worn in summer show 

bare worn threads ; [Saint Needs. 

Thin lined gowns worn in winter come from 

21. "Of a Wine-drawer." 

Drawer, thy wine is even with thee now I see : 
Thou piercest the wine, and the wine pierceth 

22. " Short Checks Between a Man and His 


' I am careful to see thee careless, Jill : " 
' I am woeful to see thee witless, Will." 
' I am anguished to see thee an ape, Jill : " 
' I am angry to see thee an ass, Will." 
' I am fretting to see thee flee from me, Jill : " 
1 I am sorry to see thee seek to me, Will." 
' I am mad to see thee mate thy husband, 

1 I am sad to see thee slander thy wife, Will." 
' I am dumpish to see thee play the drab, 

Jill:" [Will." 

11 I am knappish to see thee play the knave, 

23. "Ofa Woman decked in Two Colours." 

My bonny Bess, black and white doth set thee 

out nett. 
Thy ear white as pearl, thy teeth black as jet. 

The fifth hundred of Epigrams 245 

24. "Of Unsweet Breath." 

Thine unsavoury breath lacketh salt, beale 
Belsabub : [tub. 

It hath ta'en too much wind in the powdering- 

Thy breath, Hodge, with salt is so savoury to 

That no seasoning liquor can season it well. 

25. "Of Clipping and Cleansing." 

Not clipping your beards, why clip you your 
nails? [tails? 

Not combing your heads, why wipe you your 
These being superfluous things every one, 
Comb, clip, or cleanse all : or clip or cleanse 

26. "Ofa Man and His Wife's Departing." 

11 Wife, I will go abroad — will ye take the 
pain? " [again? " 

11 Be't; but when the devil will ye come in 

11 Makest thou me a devil? nay, then be out of 
doubt; [goeth out. " 

The devil will come in when the devil's dame 

27. "An Account of a Man's Children." 

" Wife, of ten babes between us by increase 
grown, [own : 

Thou sayest I have but nine." " No mo of your 
Of all things increasing, as my conscience li'th, 
The parson must needs have the tenth for the 

28. "Of a Woman of Huntington." 

"Where dwel'st thou, Sis?" "I dwell at 

Huntington now. " [sow." 

" Like so, for thou look'st like a now hunted 

246 The fifth hundred of Epigrams 

" Where dwel'st thou, Sim? " "At Hammer- 
smith dwell I." [hard by." 
1 ' A meet soil for thee ! for hammer-head is 

29. "Of a Laundress." 

A like laundress to thee, never saw I. 
Thy clothes washed but once a week commonly, 
Thyself washed once in an hour usually ; 
And yet each week's end doth this thus try, 
Thy clothes ever wet, thyself ever dry. 

30. "Of a Cutter of Purslane." 

This herb purslane thou cutfst prettily I see : 
But to cut a purse in a lane none like thee. 

31. "Of One Standing in His Own 

He standeth well in his own conceit each man 

tells : [else. 

So had he need, for he standeth in no man's 

32. "Of One that Heard Without Ears." 

I see men hear though they ears have none : 
Thou dost hear me speak, thine ears being 

33. " Of an Archer's Roving." 

What a shaft shoots he with a roving arrow ! 
Still he hits the mark, be it wide or narrow. 
" Where shooteth this sharp-shooting archer 

most, Will?" 
" He shooteth most at rovers on Shooter's 


The fifth hundred of Epigrams 247 

34. " Of Peril to One by the Number of 

In thy hand I see thy fortune shall be such 
That the number of three shall danger thee 
much — [thee ; 

Three bedfellows in thy bed shall displease 
Three lice in thy bum breech shall oft disease 

thee ; 
Three cups full at once shall oft disguise thee ; 
Three bearers of the hum shall oft despise thee ; 
Three drinks — wine, ale, and beer — shall over- 
flow thee ; [thee ; 
Three wrestlers in one sign shall overthrow 
Three wives in three years shall wonderfully 
wear thee ; [tear thee — 
Three she-bears those three years shall all to 
But in things numbered by three, above all 
these, [three trees. 
Bliss thee three thousand times from frame of 

35. "Of Gloria Patri." 

" Dick, I marvel much why, in every plate, 
Gloria patri standeth before Sicut erat." 
" Tom, Gloria patri is a gentleman : [can. 

In pleasant speech, speak so sweetly no tongue 
Sicut erat is a churl, so rude and plain, 
That to hear him speak all degrees do disdain. " 

36. "Ofa Dyer." 
11 Is thy husband a dyer, woman? " " Alack ! " 
11 Had he no colour to dye thee on but black? 
Dyeth he oft?" "Yea, too oft when cus- 
tomers call ; 
But I would have him one day die once for all. 
Were he gone, dyer would I never mo wed, 
Dyers be ever dyeing, but never dead." 

248 The fifth hundred of Epigrams 

37. "Of a Jug." 

" Pot him Jack! M " Pot him Jack? M "Nay, 

pot him Jug ! 
To pot the drunkard, the jug is the dug." 

38. "Of the Three Cups." 

"Where's thine inn, John?" "At Three 
Cups in Breadstreet, Joan." [bread alone; 

" At Three Cups in Breadstreet? well, let 

At those Three Cups whenever thou dines or 

Ere thou go to bed, thou hast in all thy cups ! " 

39. "Of Brass and Iron." 

Brass and old iron — who brought those two 
together? [hither. 

Brass thinketh scorn to see them brought so 
Old iron is rousty and rotten to view, [new. 
Brass with silver fair blanched and polished 

" Otherwise." 

Brass said to old iron with brass perking late : 
" Back, ye cankered carl, ye be not my 
mate ! " [most tallow ; 

" Back, brass," (quoth iron), " plainness is 
I show as I am : and so dost not thou ! " 

40. " Of Jack and John." 

Jack and John in degree differ far, brother : 
Jack daw is one, master John Daws is another. 

41. "Of Wrestling." 
Where we wrestled by couples, we wrestle 
alone, fe one - 

And shall, till time our shackled breeches be 

The fifth hundred of Epigrams 249 

In stepping and striding it is a wonder 
How we wrestle to get our legs asunder. 

42. " Of Pride." 

If thou will needs be proud, mark this, friend 

mine : 
Of good deeds be not proud ; they are not thine. 
But when thou playest the knave, in ill deeds 

Be proud of those ill deeds : they are thine own. 

43. "Of One Hanged." 

" What fault had he done that was hanged 

Of any fault done by him I can nought say." 
"Two or three two-penny trifles were laid to 

him, [him." 

But his fair gay hanged house, man, did undo 
11 Here is tit for tat, measure met very trim : 
First he hanged his house, now his house hath 

hanged him." 

44. "Of a Debtor." 

11 Doth your mastership remember your debt 
to me? " [thee : 

" Remember my debt? yea, friend, I warrant 
I remember it so, that though I say it, 
I'll never forget it, nor never pay it." 

45. "Of Loving of a Goose." 

" A goose, green or gray — which lovest thou 

better? " 
" A green goose : for it is far the sweeter." 
" Love both as thyself, for as proof showeth 

Thou art, and hast been, a goose all thy life." 

250 The fifth hundred of Epigrams 

" Otherwise." 

Thou lovest a goose too much : 'ware surfeit, 

I never saw goose yet, like thee, love himself. 

46. "Of Harp-strings.' ' 

II Which string in all the harp wouldst thou 

still harp on? " 

" Not the bass : I will be none underling, John ; 

Nor the standing tenor : for stiff standing ; 

Nor the treble : for fear of too high hanging ; 

Nor the counter tenor : for countering too 
long." [harp thy song? " 

11 Upon what harp-string then wouldst thou 

" Above all strings, when we shall fall to harp- 
ing, [string." 

The harp-string to harp on, is the mean harp- 

47. "Of Fortune." 

Take thy fortune as it falleth, some adviseth : 
But I would fain take fortune as it riseth. 

48. " Of Choice." 

Choice is good in most things, folk say; in 
which choice, [rejoice : 

For choice of one of two things, thou mayest 
For man alive, like thee, frank choice can have 
To play the knavish fool or the foolish knave. 

49. "Of a False Brag*. " 

" I was never but an honest man." 
" Put out that but, and thou sayest truth 

The fifth hundred of Epigrams 251 

50. "Of Lying and True Saying." 

"Wife, the people are disposed all to lie, 

For thou art commended universally." 

"Nay, sir! the people, to tell truth, are all 

For you are discommended of young and old." 

51. " Of a Daw Pate." 

" Thou art a very daw pate, as ever I saw." 
" Sir ! indeed the pate is chief part of a daw : 
For when daws shall appear in any coast, 
For all those daws' parts, their daw pates be 

52. "Of Water and Wine." 

Thou makest curtsy to wash hands with water 
of mine, [wine. 

Making no curtsy to wash thy mouth with my 

But I pray thee make this change in this 
matter — 

More curtsy at my wine, and less at my water. 

53. "Between Dogs and a Deer." 

" Set malice aside," said a buck to a grey- 

" Beware of pride," said that dog to that deer. 

" Be patient in trouble," a hound said round. 

Loving advice to this deer this did appear ; 

In which, counsel given, to kill him they run 
near : [seeth : 

Which counsel amounteth to this, every man 

Comfort him with their tongues, kill him with 
their teeth. 

252 The fifth hundred of Epigrams 

54. "Of Twelve and One." 

"It is twelve o'clock." "Sir! 'tis more, 
wellnigh one. ' ' [alone. ' ' 

" Is one more than twelve? that's a reason 
" Sir! when the day to afternoon doth amount, 
One is more than twelve, by our sexton's 
account. ' ' 

55. "Of Fardingales. " 

Alas ! poor fardingales must lie in the street : 
To house them, no door in the city made meet. 
Since at our narrow doors they in cannot win, 
Send them to Oxford, at Broadgates to get in. 

56. "Precepts of a Man to His Wife." 

"Stand still, wife! " "I will: " 
" Be still, wife! " "I nill." 
"Now bark, wife!" " I will: " 
"To wark, wife! " "I nill." 
"Prove me, wife!" "I will: " 
" Love me, wife! " " I nill." 
"Now chat, wife! " "I will: " 
" Leave that, wife! " "I nill." 
" Keep chair, wife ! " "I will : " 
" Speak fair, wife! " "I nill." 

57. "Of an Expert Man." 

"Is he such an expert man? " "An expert 

man? [than." 

Put out that ex, and no man more expert 

58. "Of Deliverance from III." 

"Wife'! from all evil, when shalt thou de- 
livered be? " [from thee. " 
11 Sir ! when I," (said she), " shall be delivered 

The fifth hundred of Epigrams 253 

59. "Of Cutting of the Herb Thyme." 

All times of the day, to-night from the prime, 
Thou gardener wilt not leave cutting of thyme. 
Thou wilt never leave cutting of thyme, I see, 
Till such time, as time, shall in time cut off 

60. "Of One Fearing the Sweat." 

Sweating sickness so fearest thou beyond the 

mark, [wark. 

That winter or summer thou never sweatest at 

61. "Of One Thinking on Another." 

" When doth your mastership think on me? " 
44 Ever." ["Never." 

44 When do you think upon my matter? " 
44 Me ye remember, my matter ye forget: 
Remembrance and tforgetfulness is wrong set ; 
For I would wish you rather, if it might be, 
To remember my matter and forget me." 

62. " Of One Being at a Point." 

44 Is he at a point with his creditors? " " Yea ! 
For he is not worth a point they all see." 

63. " Of Testons." 

Testons be gone to Oxford, God be their 

speed ! 
To study in Brazennose, there to proceed ! 

64. " Of Red Testons." 

These testons look red : how like you the same? 
'Tis a token of grace : they blush for shame. 

254 The fifth hundred of Epigrams 

65. " Of Stamping." 

We stamp crabs ; we stamp testons : which 

stamping doon 
We stare upon testons now beyond the moon. 
Which stamping- of testons brought it not some 

Our staring on testons could judge them but ill. 
But as the hot sun melteth snow away, 
So shall hot fire melt cold testons, as folk say. 
We, for testons leaving scolding and squaring, 
And on testons leaving stamping and staring. 

66. "Of John Long the Carrier." 

"Of what length is John Long the carrier, 
Prat? " [thou that?" 

" A quarter of a year long." " How provest 

11 Thirteen weeks past he should have brought 
me a wat ; [cometh nat. 

But yet 'long, John, John Long with that wat 

Whereby I, John Short, am as short to com- 

As John Long by this length is long to declare. 

For as John Long lurketh too long this wat to 

So I John Short leap too short this wat to get. 

67. " Of Turning." 

" Wilt thou use turner's craft still? " " Yea, 
by my troth ! [grow'th. 

Much thrift and most surety in turner's craft 

Half turn, or whole turn, where turners be 
turning, _ [ing. " 

Turning keeps turners from hanging and burn- 

The fifth hundred of Epigrams 255 

68. "Of Master Carter." 

" Is that gentleman's name Master Carter? " 
"Yea!" [see! 

" How his name and conditions differ now, 
So cunning-, so comely, so courteous, so kind, 
So gentle a gentleman in each man's mind 
That all men are stricken in pitiful wonder 
To see Master Carter and the cart asunder." 

69. "Of Going Far." 

As he goeth far that never doth turn him back, 
So goest thou far wide : thou never turnest 

Where thou goest, or what thou doest, come 

luck, come lack, 
Thyself or thy matters forth they go amain. 
To turn again no counsel can thee strain ; 
Except thy will shall show thy wit in the 

wane, [lane. 

Find means to take a house in Turn-again 

70. " How Money is Made Lame." 

" Money, with covetousness, thou dost rest so 
That lack of use doth lame thee : thou canst 

not go ; 
With prodigality thou trudgest so fast 
That excess of too much exercise doth lame 

thee at last. 
These two being lame lets of extremities, 
Where wouldst thou be 'lotted to be from both 

these? " 
"With liberality would I be the mean." 
" With liberality? nay, he is gone clean." 

256 The fifth hundred of Epigrams 

71. "Of an Old Wooer." 

11 Lady, I love you, in way you to wed : 
But mine age with your youth disagreeth so 
That, if I speak, I think not to be sped." 
" Your age in your suit is no whit your foe; 
To your years many, had ye many mo, 
We would wed the sooner by years ; showing 

That I should the sooner be unwed again." 

J2. "Of a Young Wooer." 

" I brought thee late an old, rich widow to 

woo ; [wouldst thou then do ; 

Whom thou mightest have had, but nought 

Nor nought canst thou do now ; thrift and 

thou art odd ; 
For now lieth she speechless at mercy of God." 
" For the mercy of God bring me now to her; 
I never saw meet time/ till now, to woo her." 

73. "Of Weakness and Strength." 

Weakness and strength, here showest thou 

both in preef : 
Thou art a weak man and yet a strong thief. 

74. "Warning of Pride." 

Beware of pride, sayest thou to me? 

Let pride, say I, beware of thee. 

In every place thou dost so watch him, 

That if pride stir, thou wilt sure catch him. 

75. " Of Patience." 

Be patient in trouble — how can that be 
Since out of trouble nothing pleaseth thee? 

The fifth hundred of Epigrams 257 

76. " Of Pleasing.' ' 

44 Be glad to please?" " Yea, be glad to 

please, brother ! " 
44 But whom?" 44 Please thyself, see thou 

please none other." 

77. "Of a Hand-gun and a Hand." 

Thou hast a good hand-gun, but what's thy 
hand [stand ? 

When thou shootest of['t], out of danger to 
No standing more sure, in any place or plat, 
Than to stand close to the mark thou shootest 

78. " Of Brass and Silver." 

Brass hath been aloft, with silver set up. 
Come down, brass, and drink on an ashen cup ! 

79. ,4 Of Difference between Wise Men and 

Between wise men and fools, among things 
many [any 

This one differeth, when both sorts get things 

Which to their pleasures are pleasantly 
allowed — [be proud. 

Of those things won, wise men are glad, fools 

80. "Ofa Pithy Wit." 

Good God ! what a pithy wit hast thou, Dick ! 
The pith of thy words so deep and so trick, 
Thy words so pithily pierce to the quick, 
Pith of no words against thy words may kick, 
No more than the pith of a gunstone may 

Against the pithy pith of an elder stick. 
hey. 11. s 

258 The fifth hundred of Epigrams 

81. "Of Choice to be a Wise Man or a 


11 A wise man or a fool : if thou must be one, 
Which wouldst thou be in winter, John? " 

" A fool, Joan. [cold, 

Where best men in winter sit next fire from 
There stands the fool warm while all his tales 

be told." 
11 Which wouldst thou be in summer, when 

winter is gone?" [showeth hereupon : 

"A fool!" "A fool, why?" "That why 
In summer when states sit from fire in the cool, 
At that board's end in cool air there stands the 

fool." [work, 

" Winter and summer what time men must to 
Which wouldst thou be? " "A fool, to look 

on and lurk : 
All times of the year, for one thing- or other', 
Better be a fool than a wise man, brother ! " 

82. "Of a Knight's Carterly Collar." 

I bade this carter bring my collar of gold : 
And he bringeth me my horse-collar — M Hold, 

knave, hold ! " [ing, 

" Sir, if I may speak my thought without fear- 
This collar of both showeth best for your 

wearing. ' ' 

83. "Of Males and Male Horses." 

Of all horses, a male horse would I not be; 
Where he erst bare one male, now beareth he 

three ; 
Those are : one behind, and one on each side. 
The man, who on the male horse doth ride, 

The fifth hundred of Epigrams 259 

Weareth on each leg one male; for his slops 

Each one slop one male (kindly to declare) — 
Long, round, wide, weighty as a male each 

But all horses are now male horses every one ; 
For every one horse beareth two males at 

least — [feast. 

Of male horses and male men, friends here's a 

84. "A Man Discommended." 
Not once a year ought seen in thee to allow : 
Not once a year thy knee to God dost thou 

Not once a year openest thou thy lips to pray ; 
Not once a year showest thou goodness any 

Not once a year givest thou alms to the poor ; 
Not once a year dost thou repent thee there- 
fore ; [stood 
But all times a year thou wouldst all under- 
Thou never dost repent, but when thou dost 

85. " Of Running." 

" In post haste run, whoreson, run ! Art thou 

here yet? " [of thy wit." 

" Shall I run out of breath? " " Nay, run out 

86. " Of Polling." 

Our heads grow too long, God give our barbers 

curses ; [purses. 

Our barbers poll no heads, our barbers poll 

87. "Of Plate Lent Forth." 
"Where is thy plate?" "Lent out to a 
marriage. ' ' 

s 2 

260 The fifth hundred of Epigrams 

• ■ Whither ? • ■ "To Saint Needs. " "To 
whom ? ' ' "To Master Gage. ' ' 

88. "Of a Man of Law and His Wife." 

You, being a pleader at law excellent, 

Yet hath your wife brought you to an exigent. 

Pray her to let fall th'action at law now, 

Or else, so God help me ! she will overlaw yow. 

89. "Of Pens and Pence." 
Pens and pence differ far in proportion — 
The penny flat and round, the pen straight and 
And yet for aids, in case of extortion, [long. 
Pens and pence are like in working of wrong. 

90. "Of a Woman's Thin Tongue." 

" I never saw wife like thine for this thing, 
Dick — [wondrous thick." 

Her tongue wondrous thin, and her speech 
" Tom, I have spent much in vain, since she 
was young, [tongue." 

To have her thick speech as thin as her 
" It is the tongue of tongues, Dick, for running 

round ; 
I take the tip for silver, by the shrill sound." 
" It hath, Tom, a shaking sharp sound in the 
But it is no silver, would God it were ! " [ear, 

91. "Of Drinking to a Man." 

" I drink to thee, John." " Nay, thou drinkest 

from me, Joan; [leavest none." 

When thou drinkest to me, drink for me thou 

92. "Of Running at Tilt." 
We apply the spigot till tub stand a-tilt. 

The fifth hundred of Epigrams 261 

Yea, run at the spigot tilt, leave the spear tilt 
thou wilt. 

93. " Of Expense." 

11 What may he spend? " " Ten pound a year 

he might spend." [penny lend 

" Is't mortgaged? " " Nay; no man will one 
Upon it." " Is't sold?" "Nay; no man 

will buy it." 
"Then he holdeth it?" "Nay; he cannot 

come nigh it." 
" Why, fool ! how may he spend ten pound 

by year than? " [man; 

" I said not, he may y but he might spend it, 
Meaning, he might spend it if he had it." 
" O, if he had it — a sir, the devil made it ! " 

94. "Of Fraying of Babes." 

When do mothers fray their babes most from 

dugs? [bear bugs. 

When they put on black scarves, and go like 

95. "Of Reeds and Oaks." 

" Will you reeds at the wind's will still make 

low becks? [your necks? 

Will you oaks stand stiff still while wind break 
Will you reeds, like apes, still tuck and bow 

each joint? [one point? 

Will you oaks, like asses, still stand stiff at 
Will you reeds be still bending bowing bodies ? 
Will you oaks be still stout, stiff-necked 

noddies? [avails? 

Will you reeds be staggering still for vain 
Will you oaks be stern still till your tops kiss 

your tails? [towardly? 

Will you reeds shrink still to all winds 

262 The fifth hundred of Epigrams 

Will you oaks swell still at all winds fro- 
wardly? [footstools? 

Will you reeds crouch still to be the wind's 
Will you oaks crake still to be the wind's head 
fools? " [reeds. 

" Oaks will do as we have done; so will we 
Wherein, for our purpose, mark what end 
proceeds : [blown ; 

In each one storm a thousand oaks down are 
In a thousand storms not one reed over- 

96. " Of Buying a Mortar." 

" That spice mortar to sell it be you willing? " 
"Yea, mistress?" "What's the price?" 

" Ten shilling. " 
"Ten shilling? Friend! I am hither enticed 
To buy a spice mortar, not a mortar spiced." 

97. "Of a Stepmother." 

Thy father's second wife, thy stepmother — 
For a stepmother there's not such another. 
At three steps I saw her step, since she was 
wed, [head. 

From a stair foot, straight up to thy father's 

98. "Of a Liar." 

" Where doth Francis Fabler now lie, Jane? " 
" At sign of the Whetstone, in Double-Tongue 

He lieth by night; and, by day, daily he 
Lieth down right in what place soever he be. 
That he lieth still day and night, this thing 

doth try — 
He never speaketh word but it is a lie. 

The fifth hundred of Epigrams 263 

99. "Of Tongues and Pinsons. " 

One difference this is on which our tongues 
may carp, [sharp ; 

Between pinching pinsons and taunting tongues 

Where these two nippers nip anywhere or 

Those pinsons nip dead things, those tongues 
nip quick men. 

100. "Of Heywood." 

"Art thou Heywood with the mad merry 

wit?" [hit." 

"Yea, forsooth, master! that same is even 
" Art thou Heywood that applieth mirth more 

than thrift? " 
" Yea, sir! I take merry mirth a golden gift." 
" Art thou Heywood that hath made many mad 

plays?" [days." 

"Yea, many plays; few good works in all my 
" Art thou Heywood that hath made men merry 

long? " 
" Yea, and will, if I be made merry among." 
" Art thou Heywood that would be made merry 

now? " 
" Yea, sir ! help me to it now I beseech yow. " 


e -^ 

$ stxt ijuntrretr of 

idetolg inuentrtr anft tnatre 
Jofm ffiegtoootr. 

L O N D I N I. 

^««0 Chrifti 

Eo tije reader. 

Readers, read this thus : for Preface, Prof ace. 
Much good do it you : the poor repast here, 
A six hundred dishes I bring in place 
To make good welfare, nay to make good 

cheer. [dear, 

Fare is food : cheer is mirth : since meat is 
Not of meat but of mirth, come young come 

Come who come will, here is open household. 



No of Epigram 

Of rebellion ..... 


Of tongue, mouth, teeth, and wisdom 


Of silver to be borrowed . 


Of an unkindly match 


Of going to heaven and hell . 


Of the highway and a maid's face . 


Of one that would be praised . 


Of looking ..... 


Of a hare afoot 



Of Hob and John 



Of seeking a daw 


Of saying grace 


Of debt . 

> . . . 


Of stepping 



Of writing a gentleman . 


Of a wife's affection to her husband 


Of a man's thriving 


Of learning the law 


Of good will and good deeds . 


Of Newgate windows 


Of treading a shoe awry . 


Of a fair sow ..... 


Of prayer 


- 23 


Of cheese .... 

Of a lease .... 

Of stocks .... 

A taunt of a wife to her husband 

Of pride ..... 

To walk, talk, drink, and sleep 

Of a lantern and a light . 

Of a cry ..... 

Of a waterman's rowing 

Of a tongue and a wit 

Of a painter .... 

Of Peter and Paul . 

Of loss of health and wealth . 

Of looking out 

Of chafing dishes . 

Of hanging and standing 

Of a man's head and the pillory 

Praise of one .... 

Of divers bands 

Of covenants, &c. . 

Of promise and payment 

Of one that dare not steal 

Of the creation of the devil's dam 

Of reward to a serving man . 

Two properties of a servant . 

Of toughness and tenderness . 

A question to a child 

Of seeking for a dwelling-place 

Of three souls 

Of the assaying of a hat 

Of buying a coat . 

Of paring of nails . 

Of a man's head . 

Of money in one's purse 

Of friends and foes . 

Of difference in sundry things 

The Table 

No. of Epigram 

The Table 


No. of Epigram 

Of calling one flibergibet 


Of crows breeding ..... 


Of poles . 



Of a crow-keeper 



Of rape-seed . 



Of red roses . 


Of pennyroyal 


Of marjoram . 


Of poppy 



Of thyme-seed 



Of rue . 


Of liverwort . 



Of pineapple . 


Of heartsease . 



Of parsnip 


Of aniseed 


Of lettuce-seeds 


Good news to a man 


Of least and most mastery 


Of a man and a clock 


Of a spare horse .... 


Of a husband hanged 


Of Horsedown .... 


Of a cock and a capon . 

• 83 

Of disdain ..... 

• 84 

Of Peter 

• 85 

Of one in Newgate .... 

. 86 

Of saving of shoes .... 

. 87 

Of Hogstown ..... 


Of cole-prophet .... 

. 89 

Of things unlike .... 

• 9o 

Of the gentleness of a wife 


Of catching a fly 

• 92 

Of a horse wearing great breeches . 

• 93 

Of a reckoning at a shot . 


Of use . 


• 95 

272 The Table 

No. of Epigram 

Of one asking for sheep .... 96 

Of walking and talking .... 97 

Of seeing and feeling money ... 98 

Of taking things wrong .... 99 

Of rats taken for devils in a man's slops 100 



i. "Of Rebellion." 

Against God I daily offend by frailty ; 
But against my prince, or native country, 
With as much as bodkin, when I rebel. 
The next day after hang- me up fair and well. 
The next day after? nay, the next day before 
Wish thou thyself hanged, in that case, ever- 
Before, thou hangest honestly unworthily ; 
After, thou hangest worthily unhonestly. 
But ho ! at our first dish in our merry feast 
Why talk we of hanging our mirth to molest? 
Be our cheese no better than our pottage is, 
Better fast than feast at such, feasts as is this. 
But being true to God, queen, country, and 
crown, [down. 

We shall at all feasts, not hang up, but sit 

" Otherwise." 

Wilt thou be taken for a true Englishman? 
Yea? be true to God, thy queen, and country 
than. [it ; 

Stand fast by thy country whoever would win 
Better stand fast by it than hang fast in it. 


274 The sixth hundred of Epigrams 

2. "Of Tongue, Mouth, Teeth, and 

The tongue is assigned of words to be sorter; 
The mouth is assigned to be the tongue's 
dorter ; [porter ; 

The teeth are assigned to be the tongue's 
But wisdom is 'signed to tie the tongue shorter. 

3. "Of Silver to be Borrowed." 

" Hast thou any bowed silver to lend me, 

Joan? " [me?" " None." 

"Nay." "Hast thou any broken silver for 
"Hast thou any clipped silver?" "I had, 

but 'tis gone." 
" Hast thou any cracked groat? " " Cracked 

groat? nay, not one." [nor cut — 

" No silver — bowed, broken, clipped, cracked, 
Here's a friend for friendship, not worth a 

cracked nut." 

4. "Of an Unkindly March." 

This like March? as like as I am a March hare. 
March is not so like March, friend; I would it 
were. [thee, 

Though shape of the March hare show not in 
Yet hast thou the March hare's mad property. 

5. "Of Going to Heaven and Hell." 

Of heaven or of hell, which go folk fastest to? 
To hell, fool ! to hell go far more fast they do. 
The highway to both lieth thus as clerks tell, 
Uphill to heavenward, downhill to hell. 

The sixth hundred of Epigrams 275 

6. "Of the Highway and a Maid's Face." 

The more the highway is washed the fouler it 

is : this ! 

Maid, the highway and thy face are like in 

7. "Of One that Would be Praised." 

' * Wouldst thou be praised ? " " Yea. ' ' 
"Why?" "Praise pleaseth me well." 

" Yea, but how doth desert of praise please 
thee, tell ! " 

8. "Of Looking." 

"Look upward to heaven, my friend; what! 

where lookest thou? " 
" Sir, I was looking downward to hell for you. " 

9. "Of a Hare Afoot." 

I hear by the hounds the hare is afoot; 
Then must she to horseback, none other boot. 
Nothing doth more a hare's hope of life quail 
Than doth a hound's nose nigh a hare's tail. 

10. "Of Hob and John." 

Horse and harness up, on all hands ! Hob and 

Hob and John? Nay, Lob and John would 

now be gone; [start, 

But, till your prince stir you to harness to 
Harness you your horse, and get ye to the 

11. "Of Seeking a Daw." 

" I have sought far to find a daw." " Why, 

thou elf! [thyself." 

When thou wouldst quickly find a daw, seek 

t 2 

276 The sixth hundred of Epigrams 

" What is Domine Daw in English to say? M 
" No mo daws ; thou Daw art daws enough for 
this day." 

12. " Of Saying Grace." 

To say grace fair, and to say grace oft, John, 
From Gracechurch to Grantham thy like there's 

At breakfast, at dinner, at supper, at all, 
At sitting, at rising, have grace we shall. 
There's no man alive, in house, street, or field, 
That saith grace so oft, and showeth grace so 


13. " Of Debt." 

What difference in true debt, and blue debt, to 

Difference as in distance Ludgate and Newgate. 

14. " Of Stepping." 

In stepping one foot back, stepping forward 

My steps so stepped are not stepped in vain. 
If one backstep be as much as foresteps three, 
By your stout stepping your winning let us see. 
Where wide-striding stepping gets no gain 

ought worth, [forth. 

As good to stand stone-still, as step one step 

15. "Of Writing a Gentleman." 

Thou writest thyself gentleman in one word, 

brother ! 
But gentle is one word, and man is another. 

The sixth hundred of Epigrams 277 

16. "Of a Wife's Affection to Her 
Husband. " 

I ween there's no wife like the wife of thine — 
Thy body being- hers, yet doth she incline, 
Fairest, or foulest, whom fancy doth prefer, 
To take whom thou list, so thou touch not her. 

17. "Of a Man's Thrift." 
Lord ! what thrift ariseth in thy behalf? 
Thy sow great with pig; thy cow great with 

calf; [whelp; 

Thy ewe great with lamb ; thy bitch great with 
Thy cat great with kit (and more increase to 

help) ; [thrift, fool ! 

Thy wife great with child ; and to show thy 
Thy mare great with foal; and thyself great 

with fool. 

18. "Of Learning the Law." 

Thou wilt learn the law wherever thou be — 
Lincoln's Inn, or Lincoln town, both one to 

19. "Of Good Will and Good Deeds." 
Is good will the best part of a friend? nay, 

nay ! [may. 

Beggars with lords so, for friendship compare 
Good deeds by good will had, differ there, 

brother ! 
A pudding prick is one, a millpost is another. 

20. "Of Newgate Windows." 

All Newgate windows bay-windows they be ; 
All lookers out there stand at bay we see. 

278 The sixth hundred of Epigrams 

21. "Of Treading a Shoe Awry." 

My wife doth ever tread her shoe awry. 
Inward, or outward? nay, all outwardly: 
She treadeth so outward, that if she outwin, 
She will by her will never tread foot within. 

22. "Of a Fair Sow." 

I never saw a fairer sow in my life. 

Ah sir, thy sow is even as fair as thy wife ! 

23. " Of Prayer." 
Some pray familorum familarum : 
Some say, that is folorum, solarum. 

24. "Of Cheese." 

I never saw Banbury cheese thick enough ; 
But I have oft seen Essex cheese quick enough. 

25. " Of a Lease." 

Thy lease of Freshwharf bindeth thee there to 
dwell ; [tell. 

Which thou hast forfeited, as thy neighbours 

These four years at Freshwharf, as folk con- 
sither, [together. 

Thou hast not been fresh full four hours 

26. " Of Stocks." 

Thy upper stocks, be they stuffed with silk or 

Never become thee like a nether pair of stocks. 

27. "A Taunt of a Wife to Her Husband." 

*' Wife, I ween thou art drunk or lunatic! " 

II Nay, husband ! women are never moonsick; 

The sixth hundred of Epigrams 279 

Come that conjunction in time, late, or soon, 
We say, not the woman, the man in the moon. " 

28. " Of Pride." 

Fie on pride when men go naked : naked or 

Pride is in all men a thing to be loathed ; 
But yet may we see, though it do ill accord, 
Some naked beggar as proud as some clothed 


29. "To Walk, Talk, Drink, or Sleep." 

Walk groundly; 
Talk profoundly; 
Drink roundly; 
Sleep soundly. 

30. "Of a Lanthorn and Light." 

A lanthorn and a light maid — mannerly said : 
But which to be light? the lanthorn, or the 

31. "Of a Cry." 

Thou lost'st a mark in issues, criers cry — 
Cry not so for me, crier ! and mark this, why? 
I would rather give thee a gown of tissue 
Than be in dread to lese my mark in issue. 

32. "Of a Waterman's Rowing." 

Thy fares over the water thou shouldst row 

But under the water thou dost bestow them. 

33. "Of Tongue and Wit." 
Thou hast a swift-running tongue; howbeit, 

280 The sixth hundred of Epigrams 

Thy tongue is nothing so quick as thy wit. 
Thou art, when wit and tongue in running con- 
At thy wits' end ere thou be at the tale's end. 

34. "Of a Painter." 

Thou art the painter of painters, mark who 

In making and setting colours above all, 
No painter painting within England's bounds, 
Can set so fair colours upon so foul grounds. 

35. "Of Peter and Paul." 

I dwell from the city in suburbs at rowles ; 
I pray to Saint Peter to bring me near Powles. 
Alas, thou pray'st all in vain, poor silly fool — 
Peter will set no hand to bring thee to Poule. 

36. "Of Loss of Health and Wealth." 

How lost you your health? 

That gluttony tell'th. 

How lost you your wealth? 

That lost I by stealth. 

Who was your wealth's wringer? 

My thumb and my finger. 

37. "Of Looking Out." 
Stand in and look out; hang out and look 

not out — 
Newgate and Tyburn do bring both these 


38. "Of Chafing Dishes." 
Wife, all thy dishes be chafing dishes placed ; 
For thou chafest at sight of every dish thou 

The sixth hundred of Epigrams a8i 

39. "Of Hanging and Standing." 

Whether wilt thou hang up with ropes of 

Or stiffly stand up with roperipe minions? 
Forsooth ! both for number and stuff, truly 

cast, [last. 

As good hang with the first as stand with the 

40. "Of a Man's Head and the Pillory." 

Upon the pillory, your worshipful head 
Unto the pillory doth worship far spread, 
Which worship the pillory requiteth ill now ; 
For, as you worship it, so it shameth yow. 

41. "A Praise of One." 

See how some above some other praises win — 
I praise thee for one thing above all thy kin. 
They, without teaching could never practise 
ought ; [taught. 

Thou canst play the knave, and never was 

42. "Of Divers Bands." 

" All kinds of bands to be bound in being 
scanned, [or husband — 

Headband, smockband, flailband, houseband, 

Which shall bind thee?" " Not the last on sea 
nor land ; [stand. " 

Before husband's bands, in devil's bands I will 

43. "Of Covenants, &c. " 

Many poses without apposition ; 
Many covenants without good condition ; 
Many promises without good payment ; 
Many arbitraments without good dayment. 

282 The sixth hundred of Epigrams 

44. "Of Promise and Payment." 

11 May I trust that he promised? " 

"Yea: scantly to be performed." 

" Promiseth he thrice or he once pay? " 

" Sometimes he doth; but not alway. 

Some things he promiseth to pay ever; 

Which things so promised he payeth never." 

45. " Of One that Dare Not Steal." 

" Thou borrowest, and thou beggest, but when 

wilt thou steal? " 
" Never; for to be hanged, sir, I have no zeal." 
"Thou wouldst steal if thou durst? " " Yea, 

but I dare not." [care not; 

" Well then, for thy hanging, in this world 
And in the world to come, as well thou shalt 

speed [indeed." 

For good will to steal as thou hadst stolen 

46. " Of the Creation of the Devil's Dam." 

When was the devil's dam created, th'old 
withered jade? [made, 

The next leap-year after wedding was first 

In an ill time; when the devil will that devil 

At that year's end, that endeth wedding finally. 

47. "Of Reward to a Serving Man." 

" Wait well; thy master will do for thee I wis : 
Canst thou spy nothing to ask of him?" 

" Yis; 
But when I ask I cannot have that I crave." 
"No? ask him blessing, and that shalt thou 

surely have." 

The sixth hundred of Epigrams 283 

48. "Two Properties of a Servant." 

Whoso that hath a good servant, keep him 

well — 
Well must I keep thee then, by this that I tell. 
Singular in many things ; in this above all — 
To take thy wages great, and make thy service 


49. "Of Toughness and Tenderness." 

For toughness and tenderness both in one man 

seen, [been. 

One like your mastership few or none hath 

Axe ought of ye : then are ye so tart and tough 

That your taunts would touch a horse's heart 

most rough. [you ; 

Give ought to ye : thus tender and meek are 

Tears, like tears from your eyes, your knees to 

ground bow. 

50. "A Question to a Child." 

44 Who is thy father, child? " axt his mother's 
husband. [stand." 

44 Axe my mother," (quoth he), 4< that to under- 
44 The boy dallieth with you, sir; for, verily ! 
He knoweth who is his father as well as I." 
The man, of this child's wit was wrapped in 
such joy [b°y- 

That he knew not what he might make of the 

51. 44 Seeking for a Dwelling-place." 

Still thou seekest for a quiet dwelling-place : 
What place for quietness hast thou now in 
chase ? [water. 

London Bridge? That's ill for thee, for the 

284 The sixth hundred of Epigrams 

Queenhithe? That's more ill for another 

Smart's Key? That's most ill for fear of 

smarting- smart. 
Carter Lane? Nay, nay 1 that soundeth all on 

the cart. [the chain. 

Powles Chain? Nay, in no wise dwell not near 
Wood Street? Why wilt thou be wood yet 

once again? 
Bread Street? That's too dry; by drought 

thou shalt be dead. 
Philpot Lane? That breedeth moist humours 

in thy head. [fie ! 

Silver Street? Coppersmiths in Silver Street; 
Newgate Street? 'Ware that, man! New- 
gate is hard by. 
Faster Lane? Thou wilt as soon be tied fast, 

as fast. 
Crooked Lane? Nay, crook no more, be 

straight at last. [against brother. 

Creed Lane? They fall out there, brother 
Ave Mary Lane? That's as ill as the t'other. 
Paternoster Row? Paternoster Row? 
Agreed ! that's the quietest place that I know. 

52. "Of Three Souls." 

Thou hast three souls in charge : thy body 
soul one ; [alone. 

Thy feet soles twain ; but let thy feet soles 

Discharge thy body soul, and feet soles, poor 
elves, [themselves. 

They shall pay their own fees and discharge 

53. "Of One Saying of a Hat." 

" Said he that hat on his head?" "Nay! 
chance so led 

The sixth hundred of Epigrams 285 

That by that time the hat came, he had no 

54. " Of Buying a Coat." 

44 I must buy a new coat for shame." 
" To get shame? " " Nay, t 'avoid the same." 
44 T'avoid shame? Thou mayest desire it, 
But ten new coats will not hire it." 

55. 4< Of Paring Nails." 

44 Pare my nails, wife!" 44 Nay, man! if 
your nails fail, [scab'd tail? * 

Where can ye find friends to scratch your 
44 Pare thine own nails then; for, as they be 
led, [head." 

They prove fiendly friends in scratching my 
44 That may be; but, as those words are soon 

So even as soon is a scal'd man's head broken." 

56. "Of a Man's Head." 

Thy head is great, and yet seemeth that head 

but thin ; 
Without hair without, and without wit within. 

57. 4 'Of Money in One's Purse." 

He hath in his purse forty or fifty pound. 
Put n to or, and mark then how that doth 

58. 4< Of Friends and Foes." 

The devil shall have friends; and, as good 

reason goes [have foes. 

That the devil shall have friends as God shall 

286 The sixth hundred of Epigrams 

59. "Of Difference in Sundry Things." 

Small difference between receiving and tak- 
ing : 
Great difference between marrying and making. 
Small difference between sighing and sobbing : 
Great difference between bassing and bobbing. 
Small difference between fair looks and fair 
words : [swords. 

Great difference between blunt words and sharp 
Small difference between talking and telling : 
Great difference between smarting and smell- 
ing, [ing : 
Small difference between true love and trust- 
Great difference between rubbing and rusting. 
Small difference between lowering and snower- 
ing : [ing. 
Great difference between laughing and lower- 
Small difference between waste-ware and 
weeds : [deeds. 
Great difference between good words and good 
Small difference between closeness and conceal- 
ing : 
Great difference between giving and stealing. 

60. "Of Calling One Flibergibet." 

"Thou flibergibet!" " Flibergibet, thou 
wretch ! [doth stretch? 

Wott'st thou whereto last part of that word 
Leave that word or I '11 baste ye with a libet ; 
Of all words I hate words that end with gibet. " 

61. "Of Crows Breeding." 

I would wish some good provision, to provide 
That crows should never breed by the high- 
way's side. 

The sixth hundred of Epigrams 287 

They so mistrust every man to steal their birds, 
That no man can 'scape their opprobrious 

No man passeth by, whatsoever he be, 
But those crows beknave him to the ninth 

degree. [and raves, 

Should the crow's word stand when he rages 
We should have in England forty thousand 


62. "Of Powles." 

Thanks to God and good people Powles goeth 

up well : 
Powles goeth up? but when goeth polling 

down : that tell ! 

63. "Of a Crow-keeper." 

There be many called crow-keepers ; but, in- 
deed, seed ; 

There's no crow-keeper but thou in time of 

Where others keep crows out, like starvelings 

To keep crows in plight, thou keepest crows 
in the corn. 

64. "Of Rape-seed." 

" Hast thou any rape-seed? " " Yea; if you 

to rape fruit fall, [mixed withal." 

Here is rape-seed; but there's hemp-seed 

65. " Of Red Roses." 

" What think ye worth one bushel of red 

roses? " [noses." 

" More worth than are two bushels of red 

2$8 The sixth hundred of Epigrams 

66. "Of Pennyroyal." 

11 I seek pennyroyal : have ye any? " 
11 Seek further; I have neither royal nor 

67. "Of Marjorum." 

"Hast any marjorum, gentle?" "Yea, in- 
But it is somewhat mingled with nettle-seed." 

68. " Of Poppy." 

" Let's see poppy-seed." " My poppy-seed is 

gone; [alone ! " 

But, for your ground, I have puppy-seed 

69. "Of Thyme-seed." 

" Have ye any thyme-seed? " " Thyme-seed? 

yea, by rood ! [good." 

But it is so mistimed that it bringeth no thyme 

70. "Of Rue." 

" I would have a groatworth of your seed of 

rue." [new." 

" Ye shall have rue-seed enough, both old and 

71. " Liverwort." 

" What lack you, sir? " " Liverwort-seed I 

come to crave." [have." 

"Liverwort I have none; but lipwort-seed I 

72. "Of Pineapple." 

" Hast thou any grafTs of the pineapple-tree? " 
"Yea; pining graffs, great growers as can 

The sixth hundred of Epigrams 289 

73. " Of Heartsease." 

" Have you any heartsease-seed? " " Yea, 

for God, I! [buy?" 

But what other ware with heartsease will ye 

"None." "Then have I no heartsease for 

you, brother. [another; 

We seed-sellers must sell seeds one with 

To buy heartsease-seed of me, that no man 

shall, [withal." 

Except he buy some seeds of arse-smart 

74. "Of Parsnip-seed." 

Here is parsnip-seed that will nip you, as near 
As ye were nipped with any parsnip this year. 

75. " Of Aniseed." 

This aniseed is brown ; but, to occupy, 
Brown Anne's as sweet, as white Anne's, like 

76. "Of Lettuce-seed." 

" I would buy lettuce-seed for my garden, 
Joan." [none. 

" Lettuce-seeds? forsooth, good master ! I have 
But put out u c e> and these seeds, I'll avow, 
Best seeds in England for your garden and 

yy. " Of Good News to a Man." 

" What news? " " Good news for thee as wit 

can scan ; 
We have news that thou art an honest man. 
This news coming even now thus fresh and 

hey. 11. u 

290 The sixth hundred of Epigrams 

All men take for good ; no man taketh for 

78. "Of Least and Most Mastery." 
" What is the least mastery thou canst 

devise? " [wise." 

" Least mastery is a fool to ween himself 
11 What is the most mastery that thy wit 

spies? " 
" The most mastery is, to make a fool wise." 

79. "Of a Man and a Clock." 

Men take man of earthly things most excellent, 
But in one thing thou seemest under that ex- 
tent : 
A clock after noon above thee I avow — 
A clock can go alone then ; so canst not thou. 

80. "Of a Spare Horse." 

" Hast thou any spare horse, to lend me one? " 
"A spare horse? There's one; take him and 

begone. ' ' 
Saddled and bridled he was, and with that, 
As the man leapt up, the horse fell down flat. 
He fell without help ; but then up to get, 
Five men were too few him on foot to set. 
" A spare horse," (quoth he), " the devil may 

spare him ; 
He that shall occupy him must bear him." 
11 Since this spare horse will not serve thee, 

brother ! 
Yet of my spare horses here's another." 
Up leapt the man, hence ran the horse amain; 
In ten miles galloping he turned not again. 

The sixth hundred of Epigrams 291 

For judgment in spare horse, let this be com- 
pared : [spared ? 
Run ever, run never — which may best be 

81. " Of a Husband Hanged." 

" Is thy husband hanged? " " He was; but 

he is nat ; 
In spite of his foes I found friends to ease that. 
For or my dear heart had hanged fully hours 

I gat his pardon and cut him down again." 

82. "Of Horsadown. " 

" Hiredst thou not this horse at Horsa- 
down? " "Yis!" 

"Where is Horsadown?" "That mayest 
thou learn by this : [field, town, 

In high way, low way, fair way, foul way, 

Wheresoever this horse is, there is Horsa- 
down ! " 

83. "Of a Cock and a Capon." 

A brave capon by a brag cock late being, 
The proud cock thinking scorn, the same so 

Said to the capon: "What thou barren 

bastard ! 
Perkest thou with me here as I were a haskard ? 
Where I — comely, combed, crowing, cocking 

cock — 
Am husband or father to all this whole flock." 
"What," (quoth the capon), "thou lewd 

lecherous wretch ! 
These chickens all for thine benefit thou this 

brag to stretch ? [alone ! 

As though there were but one treading cock 

u 2 

292 The sixth hundred of Epigrams 

Yes, cock, yes ! there be mo treading cocks 
than one ; [avaunt, 

But since thou thus proudly dost make this 
To repress thy pride, take this tale for a taunt. 
I have of mine own — I treading hens never — 
As many chickens as thou, treading thy hens 
ever." [dead; 

This strake the cock in a deep dump, dull and 
Having a still tongue he had a busy head. 
Two days after this, he trod not nor fed not, 
His comb sore cut ; but thanks to God ! it bled 

84. "Of Disdain." 

" Is't mastery to disdain things by envy's 

school? " 
"Nay, nay! no more mastery than to be a 


85. " Of Peter." 

Peter the proud, and Peter the poor, in which, 
Poor Peter oft as proud as Peter the rich. 

86. "Of One in Newgate." 

" Art thou in Newgate to stand to thy tack- 
ling? " [ling." 
" Nay; I am in Newgate to stand to my shack- 

87. "Of Saving of Shoes." 

Thou wearest, (to wear thy wit and thrift 

Moils of velvet to save thy shoes of leather. 
Oft have we seen moil men ride upon asses ; 
But to see asses go on moils : that passes. 

The sixth hundred of Epigrams 293 

88. "Of Hogstown. " 

The head man in Hogstown, hogherd is ex- 
pressed ; [best. 
Where hogs be parishioners, hogherd must be 
Yet hogshead in Hogstown is no John-a-droin, 
Pigs dare not quich there, if hogshead hang 
the groin. 

89. "Of Cole-prophet." 
Thy prophecy poisonly to the prick goeth : 
Cole-prophet and cole-poison thou art both. 

90. "Of Things Unlike." 

Like will to like, men say ; but not always so : 
Contrary to contrary ofttimes doth go. 
When folk be most open, their low parts most 

Then go they to stools that be made most close. 

91. " Of the Gentleness of a Wife." 

Thy wife is as gentle as a falcon : true ! 
And namely in this kind of gentleness : Hugh ! 
Being not hungry, lower falcons when ye list, 
They will check oft, but never come to the fist. 

92. "Of Catching a Fly." 

A boy on his book clapped hand to catch a fly. 
"Hast her?" cried his master. "Nay, God 

wot I." 
"Then thou shalt drink! " "Master, I have 

her, I think. " [shalt drink. " 

"If thou have her," said the master, "thou 
To furious masters, what helpeth fair speeches? 
Flies caught, or not caught, up go boys' 

breeches ! 

294 The sixth hundred of Epigrams 

93. "Of a Horse Wearing Great 


My horse to wear great breeches is now as- 
signed : 
Why? to keep him from interfering behind. 

94. "Of a Reckoning at a Shot." 

" Give us a reckoning upon this pot filling: 
What have we to pay in all? " " Ten 

shilling! " 
" What cometh our meat to? " " Four shil- 
lings, up and down ! " 
" What is drink? " "Six shillings; that's to 

say a French crown." 
" Why? Have we drunk more than we 

have eaten, knave? " 
n Yea, as many other men, many times have." 
Look wheresoever malt is above wheat, 
There in shot ever drink is above meat. 

95. "Of Use." 

Use maketh mastery : this hath been said 

alway ; 
But all is not alway, as all men do say, [rote ; 
In April the cuckoo can sing her song by 
In June, out of tune, she cannot sing a note : 
At first, cuckoo, cuckoo, sing still can she do, 
At last cuck, cuck, cuck — six cucks to one cu. 

96. " Of One Asking for Sheep." 

" Came there any sheep this way, you sheepish 

maids?" "Nay; [way." 

But even as you came, there came a calf this 

The sixth hundred of Epigrams 295 

97. "Of Walking and Talking." 

Walk thou narrowly, walk thou nearly — 
Walk as thy walk may end cheerily. 
Talk thou basely, talk thou boldly — 
In all thy talk, talk thou coldly. 
Walk thou wetly, walk thou dryly — 
In thy walk, walk not too highly. 
Talk thou merrily, talk thou sadly — 
Talk as thy talk may take end gladly. 
Walk thou daily, walk thou weekly — 
In all thy walk, walk thou meekly. 
Talk thou softly, talk thou loudly — 
In any talk, talk not proudly. 
Walk thou firstly, walk thou lastly— 
Walk in the walk that standeth fastly. 
Talk or walk oldly or newly — 
Talk and walk plainly and truly. 

98. "Of Seeing and Feeling Money." 

V Lacking spectacles, canst thou see money, 

" Yea : but having spectacles I can feel none." 

99. "Of Taking Things Wrong." 

" Perceived and taken things right, thou hast 
long, [wrong : 

But for one thing in thee long since taken 

Thy credit is touched, and thou thereby the 

" What thing sayest thou have I taken 
wrong? " "A purse." 

296 The sixth hundred of Epigrams 

ioo. " Of a Number of Rats Mistaken for 
Devils in a Man's Slops." 

A big breeched man, fearing a dear year to 

come, [bum. 

Bestowed in his breech a cheese, hard by his 
And, leaving off those hose for days two or 

three, [be 

Rats two or three crept into that breech ; they 
'Pointing themselves of that cheese to be 

keepers : [sleepers. 

In which ware watch be sure they were no 
No wight riding men, from Sandwich to Sarum, 
Could win that cheese from them without a 

larum. [on, 

At three days' end this man, putting these hose 
Having tied his points, the rats began anon 
To start and to stir that breech round about; 
To seek and find some way, what way to get 

But that breech was bolstered so with such 

broad bars, 
Such cranks, such cony holes, such cuts and 

such stars, [fast 

With ward within ward, that the rats were as 
As though they with thieves in Newgate had 

been cast. [fumbling, 

But this man, in his breech feeling such 
Such rolling, such rumbling, joisting and 

He was therewith stricken in a frantic fear; 
Thinking sure to himself that some sprites were 

He ran out, he cried out, without coat or cloak, 
Those rats in those rags whined like pigs in a 


The sixth hundred of Epigrams 297 

" A conjuror," cried he, " in all haste I be- 
seech, [breech ! " 
To conjure the devil : the devil is in my 
Running, and turning in and out as he flung, 
One of the rats by the ribs he so wrung, 
That the rat in rage to his buttock gat her ; 
She set in her teeth, his eyes ran a-water. 
She bote, he cried, dogs barked, the people 
shouted, [doubted. 
Horns blew, bells rang, the devil dreaded and 
To be in his breech to bring him straight to 
hell— [tell. 
The woe and wonder whereof — too much to 
At last to see what bugs in his breech frayed 
him, [him. 
Four or five manful men, manfully stayed 
The rats hopping out at his hose pulling off, 
All this sad matter turned to merry scoff. 
When he saw these rats by this cheese brought 

this fear, 
Rejoicing the 'scape he solemnly did swear 
That in his breech should come no cheese after 

Except in his breech he were sure of a cat. 


Imprinted at London, in Fleeteftrete, by Thomas Powell. 
Cum priuilegio. 


Adviewed by JOHN HEYWOOD, 




Give place, ye ladies ! all be gone ; 
Show not yourselves at all. 
For why? behold ! there cometh one 
Whose face yours all blank shall. 

The virtue of her looks 
Excels the precious stone; 
Ye need none other books 
To read, or look upon. 

In each of her two eyes 
There smiles a naked boy ; 
It would you all suffice 
To see those lamps of joy. 

If all the world were sought full far, 
Who could find such a wight? 
Her beauty twinkleth like a star 
Within the frosty night. 

300 A Description of a Most Noble Lady 

Her colour comes and goes — 
With such a goodly grace, 
More ruddy than the rose — 
Within her lively face. 

Amongst her youthful years 
She triumphs over age ; 
And yet she still appears 
Both witty, grave, and sage. 

I think nature hath lost her mould 
Where she her form did take ; 
Or else I doubt that nature could 
So fair a creature make. 

She may be well compared 
Unto the phoenix kind ; 
Whose like hath not been heard 
That any now can find. 

In life a Dian chaste ; 

In truth Penelope ; 

In word and deed steadfast — 

What need I more to say? 

At Bacchus' feast none may her meet; 
Or yet at any wanton play ; 
Nor gazing in the open street, 
Or wandering, as astray. 

The mirth that she doth use 
Is mixed with shamefastness ; 
All vices she eschews, 
And hateth idleness. 

A Description of a Most Noble Lady 301 

It is a world to see 
How virtue can repair, 
And deck such honesty 
In her that is so fair. 

Great suit to vice may some allure 
That thinks to make no fault ; 
We see a fort had need be sure 
Which many doth assault. 

They seek an endless way 
That think to win her love ; 
As well t,hey may assay 
The stony rock to move. 

For she is none of those 
That sets not by evil fame ; 
She will not lightly lose 
Her truth and honest name. 

How might we do to have a graff 
Of this unspotted tree? 
For all the rest they are but chaff 
In praise of her to be. 

She doth as far exceed 
These women, nowadays, 
As doth the flower the weed ; 

And more, a thousand ways. 
This praise I shall her give 
When Death doth what he can; 
Her honest name shall live 
Within the mouth of man. 

302 A Description of a Most Noble Lady 

This worthy lady to bewray — 

A king's daughter was she — 

Of whom John Heywood list to say, 

In such worthy degree. 

And Mary was her name, sweet ye, 
With these graces indued ; 
At eighteen years so nourished she : 
So doth his mean conclude. 


All a green willow, willow; 

All a green willow is my garland. 

Alas ! by what mean may I make ye to know 
The unkindness for kindness that to me doth 
grow? [bestow, 

That one who most kind love on me should 
Most unkind unkindness to me doth show? 
For all the green willow is my garland. 

To have love, and hold love, where love is so 

Oh, delicate food to the lover so fed ! 
From love won to love lost where lovers be led, 
Oh desperate dolour ! the lover is dead ; 
For all the green willow is my garland. 

She said she did love me, and would love me 

She sware above all men I had her good will ; 
She said and she sware she would my will 

The promise all good, the performance all ill ; 
For all the green willow is my garland. 

304 A Ballad of the Green Willow 

Now, woe worth the willow, and woe worth the 

That windeth willow, willow garland to dight ; 
That dole dealt in alms is all amiss quite, 
Where lovers are beggars for alms in sight ; 
No lover doth beg for this willow garland. 

Of this willow garland the burden seem'th 

But my break-neck burden I may it well call ; 
Like the sow of lead on my head it doth fall, 
Break head, and break neck, back, bones, brain, 

heart and all; 
All parts pressed in pieces. 

Too ill for her think I best things may be had ; 
Too good for me thinketh she things being 

most bad ; 
All I do present her that may make her glad ; 
All she doth present me that make me sad ; 
This equity have I with this willow garland. 

Could I forget thee as thou canst forget me, 
That were my sound salve, which cannot nor 
shall be ; [flee, 

Though thou like the soaring hawk every way 
I will be the turtle most steadfast still to thee ; 
And patiently wear this green willow garland. 

All ye that have had love, and have my like 
wrong, [among ; 

My like truth and patience plant still you 
When feminine fancies for new love do long, 
Old love cannot hold them, new love is so 
For all. 

Finis qd. Heywood. 


Gar call him down, gar call him down, gar call 

him down, down a: 
God send the faction, of all detraction, called 

down and cast away. 

Almighty God 
Doth shake His rod 

Of justice, and all those 
That unjustly, 

Detract their friends or foes. 

He telleth each one : 
Thou shalt judge none ; 

And if thou judge unbidden, 
Thyself, saith He, 
Shall judged be ; 

This lesson is not hidden. 

To this now stirred, 
This is concord, 

Which willeth us in each doubt; 
To deem the best 
That may be jest, 

Till time the truth try out. 

HEY. II. x 

306 A Ballad against Slander and Detraction 

Knowing by this, 
That think amiss 

Against no man we may ; 
Much more must we 
111 language flee, 

And call it down, down a; 
Gar call him down, &c. 

With sword or skain 
To see babes slain, 

Abhorreth to look upon ; 
Attend to me, 
And ye shall see 

Murder and slander one. 

Like as a knife, 
By rueing life, 

So slander fame hath slain ; 
And both once doon, 
Both alike soon 

May be undone again. 

Then what more ill, 
With knife to kill, 

Or with the tongue to sting? 
With knife or tongue 
Strike old or young, 

Both in effect one thing. 

These words are short, 
But they import 

Sentence at length to way ; 
Of all which sense, 
To flee offence, 

Call slander down I say ; 
Gar call him down, &c 

A Ballad against Slander and Detraction 307 

When vice is fought 
All vice is nought ; 

But some vice worse than some ; 
And each man sees 
Sundry degrees 

In each vice self doth come. 

Now sins tfie least, 
We should detest 

Vice or degree in vice ; 
If in the most 
We show our boast, 

That showeth us most unwise. 

If I in thee 

Such faults once see, 

As no man else doth know; 
To thee alone, 
And other none, 

These faults I ought to show. 

Then of intent 
If I invent 

False tales, and them display; 
That is most vile, 
Which to exile, 

God calleth this down, down a. 
Gar call him down, &c. 

Some count no charge 
To talk at large 

Such ill as they do hear ; 
But God's account 
Doth not amount 

To take such talkers here. 

X 2 

308 A Ballad against Slander and Detractio 

Of work ill wrought, 
When it is fought, 

In telling forth the same, 
Though it be true, 
The talk may brew 

Drink of damnable blame. 

To frame excuse 
Of tongue's misuse, 

We have no manner mean ; 
So that by this 
No way there is 

111 tales to carry clean. 

Which makes me call 
Upon you all, 

As calling call you may; 
Tales false or true, 
Me to ensue, 

To call them down, down a. 
Gar call him down, &c. 

Christ crieth out still : 
Say good for ill ; 

But we say harm for harm ; 
Yea, ill for good 
111 tongues do brood — 

Wrath is in them so warm. 

Slander to fear, 
And to forbear — 

This text stands well in place; 
Woe by the tongue, 
Whereby is sprung 

Slander in any case ! 

A Ballad against Slander and Detraction 309 

To slake this fire 
Of slanders ire, 

Repentance must devise 
To set all hands 
To quench the brands 

With water of our eyes. 

Which brand then blow 
To make love glow, 

That love by grace may stay, 
And by resort 
Of good report, 

Call slander down I say. 
Gar call him down, &c. 

Finis qd. Heywood. 


Touching the Traitorous Taking of 
Scarborough Castle 

Imprinted at London, in Fleete-strete, by Tho. Powell. 
Cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum. 

Oh, valiant invaders ! gallantly gay ; 

Who, with your compeers, conquering the 

Castles or tow'rs, all standing in your way; 
Ye take, controlling all estates most stout, 
Yet had it now been good to look about, 

Scarborough castle to have let alone ; 

And take Scarborough warning everyone. 

By Scarborough castle, not Scarborough 
I only mean — but further, understand, 

Each haven, each hold, or other harborough 
That our good King and Queen do hold in 

hand : 
As due obedience bindeth us in band 

Their Scarborough castles to let alone ; 

And take Scarborough warnings everyone. 

312 A Brief Ballet 

The scalers of which castles evermore, 

In books of old, and in our eyes of new, 
Have always lost themselves, and theirs there- 
All this ye did forget in time to view, 
Which might have wrought both you and 
yours t 'eschew, 
Letting Scarborough castle now alone ; 
Taking Scarborough warning everyone. 

This Scarborough castle simply standing, 
Yet could that castle slyly you beguile; 

Ye thought ye took the castle at your landing, 
The castle taking you in the self while : 
Each stone within the castle wall did smile 

That Scarborough castle ye let not alone; 

And took Scarborough warning everyone. 

Your putting now in ure your devilish dream, 
Hath made you see (and like enough to feel) 

A few false traitors cannot win a ream ; 
Good subjects be, and will be, true as steel 
To stand with you, the end they like no 

Scarborough castles they can let alone ; 

And take Scarborough warnings everyone. 

They know God's law — to 'bey their King and 
Queen ; 
Not take from them, but keep for them their 
own ; 
And give to them, when such traitors are seen, 
As ye are now, to bring all overthrow. 
They work your overthrow, by God's power 
God saith — let Scarborough castle alone; 
Take Scarborough warning everyone. 

A Brief Ballet 3 r 3 

Too late for you, and in time for the rest 
Of your most traitorous sect (if any be) ; 

You are all spectacles at full witnessed, 
As other were to you — treason to flee, 
Which in you past, yet may the rest of ye 

The said Scarborough castles let alone ; 

And take Scarborough warnings everyone. 

This term, Scarborough warning grew, (some 
By hasty hanging, for rank robbery there. 
Who that was met but suspect in that way, 
Straight was he truss 'd up, whatever he 

Whereupon, thieves thinking good to for- 
Scarborough robbing they let that alone; 
And took Scarborough warning everyone. 

If robbing in that way, bred hanging so, 
By theft to take way, town, castle, and so, 

What Scarborough hanging craveth this, lo ! 
Were yourselves herein judges capital, 
I think your judgments on these words must 

Scarborough robbing, who lett'th not alone, 

Scarborough hanging deserve everyone. 

We would to God that you, and all of you 
Had been considered, as well as ye knew 

The end of all traitory, as you see it now, 
Long to have lived, loving subjects true. 
Alas ! your loss we not rejoice, but rue 

That Scarborough castle ye let not alone ; 

And took Scarborough warning everyone. 

3H A Brief Ballet 

To crafts that ever thrive, wise men ever 
cleave ; 
To crafts that seeld when thrive, wise men 
seeld when flee ; 
The crafts that never thrive a fool can learn 
to leave. 
This thriftless crafty craft then clear leave 

One God, one king, one queen, serve frank 
and free, 
Their Scarborough castle let it alone; 
Take we Scarborough warning everyone. 

One sovereign lord and sovereign lady both, 
Laud we our Lord, for their prosperity; 

Beseeching Him for it, as it now go'th, 
Continued so, in perpetuity ; 

We letting their Scarborough castles alone ; 

Taking Scarborough warnings everyone. 


Quod. J. Heywood. 


Specifying partly the manner, partly the 
matter, in the most excellent meeting 
and like marriage between our sovereign 
Lord and our Sovereign Lady the King's 
and Queen's highness 


Imprinted at London by William Ryddell. 

The eagle's bird hath spread his wings, 
And from far off hath taken flight, 

In which mean way by no leverings 

On bough or branch this bird would light ; 
Till on the rose, both red and white, 

He 'lighteth now most lovingly, 

And thereto most behovingly. 

The month ensuing next to June, 

This bird this flower for perch doth take, 

Rejoicingly himself to prune, 
He rouseth ripely to awake 
Upon this perch to those his make : 

Concluding straight, for ripe right rest, 

In the lion's bower to build his nest. 

316 A Ballad 

A bird, a beast, to make, to choose, 

Namely, the beast most furious, 
It may seem strange, and so it does, 

And to this bird injurious ; 

It seemeth a case right curious 
To make construction in such sense, 
As may stand for this bird's defence. 

But mark, this lion so by name, 

Is properly a lamb t'assign, 
No lion wild, a lion tame, 

No rampant lion masculine, 

The lamb-like lion feminine, 
Whose mild meek property allureth 
This bird to light, and him assureth. 

The eagle's bird, the eagle's heir, 

All other birds far surmounting, 
The crowned lion matcheth fair, 

Crown unto crown this bird doth bring ; 

A queenly queen, a kingly king. 
Thus, like to like here matched is — 
What match may match more meet than this? 

So meet a match in parentage, 

So meet a match in dignity, 
So meet a match in patronage, 

So meet match in benignity, 

So matched from all malignity, 
As, (thanks to God given for the same), 
Seldom hath been seen ; thus sayeth the fame. 

This meet-met match, at first meeting, 

In their approach together near, 
Lowly, lovely, lively greeting, 

A Ballad 317 

In each to other did so appear, 
That lookers-on, all must grant clear, 
Their usage of such humane reach, 
As all might learn, but none could teach. 

Thou, in conjoining of these twain, 

Such sacred solemn solemnity, 
Such fare in feast to entertain, 

Such notable nobility, 

Such honour with such honesty, 
Such joy, all these to plat in plot, 
Plat them who can, for I cannot. 

But here one dainty president, 

Number so great in place so small, 

Nations so many, so different, 
So suddenly met ; so agree all, 
Without offensive word let fall ; 

Save sight of twain, for whom all met, 

No one sight there, like this to get. 

This lamb-like lion and lamb-like bird, 

To show effect as cause affords, 
For that they lamb-like be concurred, 

The lamb of lambs, the lord of lords; 

Let us like lambs, as most accords, 
Most meekly thank in humble wise, 
As humble heart may most devise. 

Which thanks full given most thankfully, 
To prayer fall we on our knees, 

That it may like that Lord on high 
In health and wealth to prosper these, 
As faith for their most high degree : 

And that all we, their subjects, may 

Them and their laws love and obey. 

318 A Ballad 

And that between these twain and one, 
The three and one, one once to send. 

In one to knit us everyone, 

And to that one such mo at end, 
As his will only shall extend. 

Grant this, good God ! adding thy grace, 

To make us meet to obtain this case. 




References, Notes, a complete Index to 
all the Proverbs, Proverbial Sayings, 
Colloquialisms, &c, together with a 
Glossary of Words and Phrases now 
Archaic or Obsolete ; the whole arranged 
in One Alphabet in Dictionary Form 


Reference from text to Note-Book is copious, and as 
complete as may be; so also, conversely, from Note-Book 
to text. The following pages may, with almost absolute 
certainty, be consulted on any point that may occur in 
the course of reading. 

The scheme of reference from Note-Book to text as- 
sumes the division, in the mind's eye, of each page into 
four horizontal sections; which, beginning at the top, 
are indicated in the Note-Book by the letters a, b, c, d 
following the page figure. In practice this will be found 
easy, and an enormous help to the eye over the usual 
reference to page alone in "fixing" the "catchword." 
Thus i26a = the first quarter of page 126; ^oc = the third 
quarter of page 40 ; and so forth. 

The Index to the Proverbs, Proverbial Sayings, Col- 
loquialisms, <5t-c. (specifically as an Index, and not as a 
Glossary, which indeed would be largely superfluous), is 
made with much completeness, careful attention being 
given, as an aid to reference, to Cross-entries. The more 
noteworthy Proverbs are, in the text, brought into 
prominence by the use of italics. 

[For Errata see Page 466.] 


To John Heywood's Proverbs, Epigrams, 
and Miscellanies 

Abject, " cast out as an abject " (ioob), vagabond, 
ne'er-do-well, despicable person. " I deemed it better 
so to die, Than at my foeman's feet an abject lie." — 
Mirrour for Magistrates (1599), 20. 

Abrood, " weather meet to set paddocks abrood in " 
(50b), i.e. weather fit for toads or frogs to be abroad : 
cf. " fine weather for ducks." 

Absenteth, " her presence absenteth all maladies " 
(10c), makes absent, expels, cures : now always with 
the reflective pronouns. " . . . or what change 
Absents thee or what chance detains? " — Milton, 
Par. Lost (bk. x.). 

Accompte, " the full accompte " (8d), account : the old 
spelling. " Smith. The clerk of Chatham : he can 
write and read, and caste accompt." — Shakspeare, 
2 Henry VI. (1594), iv. 2. 

Accompted (125a), see previous entry. 

Accordeth, see Rhymes. 

Ache (a) (140c), i.e. " aitch " = letter " H " : a play on 
ache = paiin. 
(b), see Eye. 

Adviewed (299b), considered. 

Advoutry, " in advoutry to catch him " (71b), adultery. 
" Calling this match advoutrie, as it was." — Mirrour 
for Magistrates (1599), 342. 

322 Note-Book and Word-List [afloat 

Afloat, " thou art afloat " (176a), see also "at an ebb 
in Newgate . . . afloat at Tyburn " (176b). 

Afterci.aps, "for fear of afterclaps " (n^d), conse- 
quences : especially if unexpected or disagreeable ; now 
chiefly American. " He can give us an after-clap 
when we least ween." — Latimer, Sermons (1515), I. 

Against, see Stream. 

Age, " age and appetite fell at a strong strife " (5 id). 

Ale, (a) " when ale is in vut is out " (20od). 

(b) " as sour ale mendeth in summer " (916), that 
is, not at all. 

(c), " thy tales taste all of ale " (189b), i.e. are pot- 
house yarns; stories "bemused in beer." 

Ale-clout, " wash her face in an ale-clout " (26d), get 

All, see Bleed, Hear, Nought. 

Allowed, " how his lie was allowed " (120c), allow = 
admit, approve, intend, think. " Alowe, to make 
good or allowable, to declare to be true." — Baret, 
Alvearie (1580), A. 297. The usage still survives in 

Almonry, see God. 

Alms, "upon giving an alms" (109c; 117a), alms is 

singular: the " s " = <r of the original Greek, though 

now used as a plural. 
Am, " God taketh me as I am and not as I was " 

Amated, " all mirth was amated " (17^), paralysed, 

checked. " That I amazed and amated am, To see 

Great Brittaine turn'd to Amsterdam." — Taylor, Mad 

Fashions (1642). 
Amend, " he may soon amend for he cannot appair " 

(187c), appair = get worse : see Apaired. 

Amended, see Said. 

Amendment, " let your amendment amend the matter " 

An, see And. 

arse-smart] Note-Book and Word-List 323 

Anchor, (a) " I will straight weigh anchor and hoist 
up sail " (21c). 

(b) " good riding at two anchors. . . . For if the tone 
fail, the t'other may hold " (92c), best to have more 
chances than one : cf. " two strings to one's bow." 

And, An (passim), (a) if ; (b) on. 

Angry, (a) " he that will be angry without cause, must 

be at one, without amends " (64c). 

(b) " if she be angry, beshrew her angry heart " 


Another, see Nail. 

Any, see Hear. 

Apair, see Amend. 

Apaired, •' so apaired he " (88d), grew worse, degene- 
rated. " I see the more that I them forbear, The 
worse they be from year to year : All that liveth 
appaireth fast." — Everyman (E.E.D.S., Anon. Plays, 
1st Ser., 94d) : also Appaireth (13 id). 

Aparty, " choose we him aparty " (67c), aside, separate. 
u He that es verrayly meke, God sal safe hym of 
there, here aparty, and in tother worlde plenerly." — 
MS. Coll. Eton. 10, f. 40. 

Ape, (a) " she can no more harm than can a she ape " 

(2 7 d). 

(b) As a verb ape = to befool or dupe; also to make 
one an ape. 

Appaireth, see Apaired. 

Appetite, " age and appetite fell at a strong strife " (51^). 

Apple, " lost with an apple and won with a nut " (246). 
" Nor woman true, but even as stories tell, Won with 
an egg, and lost again with shell." — Gascoigne, 
Ferdinando (d. 1577). 

Apposition (281^), conjunction. 

Arse-smart, " seeds of arse-smart " (289b), a popular 
name of Polygonum persicaria. " Arsmart . . . be- 
cause if it [water pepper] touch the taile or other bare 
skinne, it maketh it smart, as often it doth, being 
laid into the bed greene to kill fleas." — Minsheu, 
Ductor (1617), 544. 

Y 2 

324 Note- Book and Word-List [ascertained 

Ascertained, " the King was ascertained " (120a), made 
sure of, satisfied about. " Mer. But how shall I be 
ascertained that I also should be entertained?" — 
Bunyan, Pilg. Prog. pt. ii. 

Ashes, " raked up in th' ashes and covered again " 

Ask, see Thief. 

Aspen-leaf, " thy tongue . . . that aspen-leaf " (85c). 

Ass, " the dun ass hath trod on both thy feet " (i8id) : 
see Black ox. 

Assay, " I will assay to win some favour " (2 id), 
endeavour, try, essay. " Yet wol I make assay." — 
Chaucer, Cant. Tales (1383), 13 177. Also 139&. 

Assish, " his assish stalking " (118c), foolish. " Passe 
not, therfore, though Midas prate, And assishe judge- 
ment give. " — Galfrido and Bernardo (1570). 

Assoil, " assoil thy question " (119a), solve, answer. 

Assurance, " words of assurance " (5^), affiance, be- 
trothal. " This druge, diviner laid claim to me ; 
called me Dromio ; swore I was assured to her." — 
Shakspeare, Comedy of Errors (1593), iii. 2. 

Attacheth (117c), attacketh. "I cannot blame thee; 
Who am myself attach 'd with weariness, To the dull- 
ing of my spirits." — Shakspeare, Tempest (1609), iii. 3. 

Attendance, see Danceth. 

Audry, see Saint Audry. 

Aumbry, see Cough. 

Avail, (a) " avail, unhappy hook " (44a), i.e. Away ! 

Begone! you are defeated in your purpose; hook = a 

term of reproach. " That unhappy hook." — Jack 

Juggler (E.E.D.S., Anon. Plays, Ser. 3), 26c and $$d. 

(6) " vain avails " (261^), no purpose or profit. 

Avanced, " which should me much avanced " (22a), 
profited, advanced. 

Axe, (a) " I send th' axe after helve away " (97b), i.e. I 
despair ; " in for a penny, in for a pound." 

baker] Note-Book and Word-List 325 

(b) " without ye axe me leave " (97c), ask : the 
word and also the construction, once literary, are now 

Babe, see Knave. 

Bable ; "how may babies be missed among fools" 
(189&), bauble (or bable) = a. badge of office of the 
domestic fool : see other volumes of this series. 

Bachelors, (a) " bachelors boast how they will teach 
their wives good " (74^), hence bachelor's wife = an 
ideal wife : see infra. 

(b) " bachelors' wives and maids' children be well 
taught " (75a). " The maid's child is ever best 
taught." — Latimer, Sermons (1562), v. " Ay, ay, 
bachelors' wives, indeed, are finely governed." — 
Vanbrugh, Provoked Wife (1726), i. 1. 

Back, see Clawed, Clothes, Horse. 

Backare, " Backare, quoth Mortimer to his sow " (41c ; 
208a and b), i.e. "Go back," "Give place," 
" Away " : the allusion is lost, though the phrase is 
common enough in old writers, the earliest dating 
about 1473. 

Bag, (a) " he brought the bottom of the bag clean out " 
(98^), to make an end of things, to tell all, to lose all. 
(b) " I know him as well as the beggar knoweth 
his bag " (386 ; 227a). " As well as the beggar knows 
his dish," is another form of this proverb found in 
The Burning of Paules Church in London, by Bishop 
Pilkington (1561). 

Baker, " so late met, that I fear we part not yet, quoth 
the baker to the pillory " (57b) : severe penalties for 
impurity of bread or shortness of weight were enforced 
against bakers from very early times ; they were fre- 
quently the subject of much sarcasm. " A pillorie for 
the punishment of bakers, offending in the assize of 
bread." — Stow, Survey (1598), 208. "They say the 
owl was a baker's daughter." — Shakspeare, Hamlet 
(1602), iv. 5. " Are not bakers' armes the skales of 
Iustice? yet is not their bread light." — Dekker, Honest 
Whore (1604). " Three dear years will raise a baker's 
daughter to a portion. 'Tis not the smallness of the 
bread, but the knavery of the baker." — Ray, Proverbs. 

326 Note-Book and Word-List [bald 

Bald, " bald as a coot " (13d), as bald as may be : 
the frontal plate of the coot is destitute of feathers. 
(See Tyndale, Works, 1530, ii. 224.) 

Bale, (a) " this rather bringeth bale than boot " (63d), 
ba/e = trouble, sorrow; boot = he\p, cure, relief. " God 
send every man boot of his bale." — Chaucer, Cant. 
Tales (1483), 13409. 
(b), see Hekst. 

Ball, " thou hast stricken the ball under the line " 
(42b), i.e. a line regarded as marking the limit of 
legitimate or successful play. " Poor mortals are so 
many balls, Toss'd some o'er line, some under for- 
tune's walls." — Howell, Letters (1645). 

Ballads. See " John Heywood as a Ballad-monger "in 
" Terminal Essay " (Heywood 's Works III). 

Bankets, "bonfires and bankets" (120a), banquets. 
"A great banket of meat." — Wever, Lusty Juventers 
(E.E.D.S. Works 286). 

Banning, " be as be may is no banning " (536 ; 219a). 

Bare, see Breech, Buckle, Leg. 

Bargains, " some bargains dear bought good cheap 
would be sold " (19c), cheap = market : good cheap = 
bon marche\ " He buys other men's cunning good 
cheap in London, and sells it deare in the country." — 
Dekker, Belman's Night Walk (1608). 

Barge, see Oar. 

Barrel, (a) " in neither barrel better herring " (102c), 
not a pin to choose between, six of one and half a dozen 
of the other ; elliptical — no one barrel contains herrings 
better than another. " Lyke Lord, lyke chaplayne, 
neyther barrel better herynge. " — Bale, Kynge John. 
" Begin where you will, you shall find them all alike, 
never a barrel! the better herring." — Burton, Anat. 
Melan. (1621). 
(b) see Beerpot. 

Bass (70c), to cuddle, snuggle up to, give a smacking 
kiss : once literary. " I lye bassing with Besse. " — 
More, Works, 557. " Thy knees bussing the stones." 
— Shakspeare, Coriol. (1610), iii. 2. 

Basteth, see Hog. 

beg] Note-Book and Word-List 327 

Bauble, see Bable. 

Baudry, " suspicion of their baudry " (73d), wanton- 
ness, lechery. 

Bayard, " to have kept Bayard in the stable " (47c). 
See Blind Bayard. 

Be, (a) " be as be may is no banning " (53ft ; 219a). 
(b) " that shall be, shall be " (536). See Shall. 

Bead-roll, " a bead-roll to unfold " (77b), a story, 
narration ; specifically (as here) a catalogue of woes : 
properly a list of those for whom a certain number 
of prayers were offered, the count being kept by the 
telling of beads. 

Bean, (a) "a bean in a monk's hood " (76c ; 204a). 

(b) " begging of her booteth not the worth of a 
bean " (30a), a standard of the smallest value. 

(c) " the bigger eateth the bean " (68$. " For I 
am wery of this renning about, And yet alway I stand 
in great doubt Least that the bigger wyll ' eate the 
Been." — XII Mery Jests of the Wyddow Edyth (1525). 

Bear, (a) " bear with them that bear with you " (886). 
(b) see Faces, Sow, Stake. 

Bear bugs (261c), bugbears: bug = an object of terror, 

a spectre, hobgoblin. 
Beards, see Merry. 
Beat, see Bush. 

Beautiful, " my beautiful marriage " (8b), i.e. mar- 
riage for beauty's sake. 

Beck, " a beck as good as a dieu gard " (29$, nod, 
salutation. " Nods and becks and wreathed smiles." 
— Milton, L' Allegro (1637). 

Bed, see 111, Leg. 

Bedlam, " after Bedlam sort " (78a), crazy , violently (or 
madly) angry. 

Beerpot, " she was made like a beerpot or a barrel " 
(52a), well rounded in the stomach, corpulent. 

Bees, see Folk, Head, Quick. 

Beforne {passim), before. 

Beg, see Breech, Steal, Wrong. 

328 Note- Book and Word- List [bkggar 

Beggar, (a) " beggars should be no choosers " (29b ; 
1706). Beggers must be no choosers ; In every 
place, 1 take it, but the stocks." — Beaumont and 
Fletcher, Scornful Lady, v. 3. 

(b) see Bag, Lord, Thieves. 

(c) " one beggar to beg of another " (100a). 

Beginning, (a) ''a hard beginning maketh a good 
ending (11a ; 170^). 

(b) "of a good beginning there cometh a good 
end " (196c). 

(c) see End, Fit, 111. 

Behind, see Best, Further, Worst. 

Bell, (a) " Who shall tie the bell about the cat's neck " 
(38^; 219c). 

(b) " she beareth the bell " (2yd), carries away the 

Belly, " when the belly is full the bones would be at 
rest " (556). 

Belzabub, " a baby of Belzabub's bower " (62c). 
Bench, " he must have the bench " (35b). 
Benchwhistler (37c ; 199a), loafer, idler on an ale- 
house bench. 

Bent, see Bow, Break. 

Beshrew, generally in imperative. " Beshrew your 
heart " = woe to you. " I beshrew all shrews." — 
Shakspeare, Love's Labour's Lost (1594), v. 2. 

Beside, see Cushion. 

Best, (a) " the best is behind " (195b to d). 

(b) " the plain fashion is best " (210a and b). 

(c) see Truth, Wins. 

(d) " the best is best cheap " (81b), the best is 
cheapest in the end. 

Bestill, " a good bestill is worth a groat " (68c), 
bestail = a. law term for all kinds of cattle : Fr., 

Betimes, see Sharp thorn. 

Better, see Bird, Break, Brim, Cap, Children, Fed, 
Horse, Late, Rule, Seldom, Sit, Unborn, Wish. 

Between, see Stools. 

bid] Note- Book and Word- List 329 

Beware, see Fox, Had, Harms. 

Bewrayed, " things . . . might be bewrayed " (65b), 
spoilt, muddled, complicated. 

Beyond, see Moon. 

Bibliography. The Dialogue of the Effectual Proverbs 
in the English language Concerning Marriage seems 
to have been first printed, apart from the collected 
editions of Heywood's Works (Proverbs and Epi' 
grams), in 1546 by T. Berthelet. A copy of this 
quarto appeared in the Roxburghe sale in. 1812, and 
fetched ^4 10s. Lowndes says this edition was re- 
printed in 1547, 1549, and 1556. Another edition, 
"newly overseen and somewhat corrected," appeared 
in 1561 in 8vo, an imperfect copy of which is pre- 
served in the British Museum. In the following year 
it was appended to his Epigrams, and the whole was 
published as John Heywoodes Woorkes. This is the 
edition (collated with that of 1566) which forms the 
text of the present reprint. Another edition ap- 
peared in 1566, which Hazlitt erroneously says was 
" a reprint, without alterations, of the edition of 
1562 " (see Variorum Readings). Further editions 
appeared in 1576, 1587 (? edited by Thomas Newton, 
of Cheshire) and 1598. Altogether, ten editions 
within the first fifty years : a record that is not often 
surpassed ! Moreover, it would appear from Dibdin 
(iv. 421) that the Epigrams were printed separately 
on flyleaves or broadsides ; as he states that he pos- 
sessed two, printed on a long slip of paper, on one 
side only, and bearing an imprint — " Printed at 
London for Rowland Hall for James Rowbotham, and 
are to be sold at his shoppe under Bow Churche." 
Concerning the Ballads see the Terminal Essay [Works 
(E.E.D.S.) III.]. The text has been modernised except 
in cases where the rhyme or the interest attaching to a 
particular usage seemed to render desirable the reten- 
tion of the old spelling. The punctuation has been 
altered only so far as to make intelligible what would 
otherwise be obscure. 

Bid, " his paternoster to bid " (136b), to bid beads 
originally = to pray prayers with or without a rosary, 
hence to count beads, each one dropped passing for 
a prayer. 

330 Note-Book and Word-List [big 

Big, see Body. 

Bill, see Wing. 

Bind, see Fast. 

Bird, (a) " better one bird in hand than ten in the 
wood" (36^ ; 173d), possession is everything; hazard 
of loss is not worth uncertain gain ; the modern 
" two in the bush," is not so exacting. Fr., " Mieux 
vaux un tenez, que deux vous I'aurez." " An old 
proverb maketh with this which I take good. Better 
one bird in hand then ten in the wood." — Heywood, 
Witty and Witless (c. 1530), Works (E.E.D.S.) I., 

(&) " it is a foul bird that fileth his own nest " 
(70^), fileth = de fileth : the proverb occurs as early as 
1250 in The Owl and the Nightingale. '* Rede and 
lerne ye may, Howe olde proverbys say, that byrd ys 
nat honest, That fylyth hys owne nest." — Skelton, 
Garnesche (1520). 

(c) " as bare as a bird's arse " (89a), as bare as 
may be. 

(d) " the birds were flown " (47^ ; 223d ; 224a). 

(e) " when birds shall roost . . . who shall appoint 
their hour, the cock or hen?" (566); compare " He 
who pays the piper may call the tune." 

(/) " we shall catch birds to-morrow " (88c). 
(g) "I hear by one bird that in mine ear was late 
chanting " (70a) ; modern, " a little bird told me." 
(h) see Bush and Crow. 

Birders, Birding, " birders ... in their birding " 
(151b), bird-catchers, bird-catching. " I do invite you 
to-morrow morning to my house to breakfast ; after 
we'll a birding together." — Shakspeare, Merry Wives 
(1596), iii. 3. 

Bit, see Rough bit. 

Bite, see Brain, Cat, Flies. 

Blab, " look what she knoweth, blab it wist and out 
it must " (24a), i.e. anything a blab knows must be 
told. " Labbe hyt whyste and owt yt muste." — MS. 
Harleian (c. 1490). 

Black, " black will take none other hue " (92c). 

Black ox, "black ox never trod on thy foot" (17c; 

blind bayard] Note-Book and Word-List 331 

181c), the black ox is the symbol of decrepitude or mis- 
fortune. " Venus waxeth old : and then she was a 
pretie wench, when Juno was a young wife ; now 
crowes foote is on her eye, and the black oxe hath 
trod on her foot." — Lyly, Sapho (1584). 

Ble, "to cry ble " (34c), ble = bleat, as a sheep. One 
of the Hundred Mery Tales (c. 1525) is entitled " Of 
the husbande that cryed ble under the bed." " I hear 
a young kid blea." — Jacob and Esau (1568), iv. 6. 
(E.E.D.S. Anon. PI. 2 Ser., 59c.) 

Bleed, " here doth all lie and bleed " (68c; 211c). 

Bless, " ye bless them all, but ye bass but one " (84^), 
see Children. 

Blessing, " ye can give me your blessing in a clout " 
(96b), i.e. the hoard (or talent) wrapped up in a 
napkin, bag, or " stocking." 

Blind, (a) " who so deaf or so blind as is he that wil- 
fully will never hear nor see? " (91a). 

(b) " the blind eat many flies " (736 ; 201b ; 220b). 
" The blinde eateth many a flye : So doth the hus- 
band often, iwis, Father the childe that is not his." 
— Schole-house of Women (1541), line 333. 

(c) "blind men should judge no colours" (73a; 

(d) " as the blind man casts his staff or shoots the 
crow " (96b). 

(e) " where the blind leadeth the blind both fall in 
the dyke " (676). " She hath hem in such wise 
daunted, That they were, as who saith, enchaunted ; 
And as the blinde an other ledeth, And till they falle 
nothing dredeth." — Gower, Confessio Amantis. 

(/) " folk ofttimes are most blind in their own 
cause " (73a), or, as in modern phrase, " blind to one's 
own interests." 

(g) " the difference between staring and stark 
blind, The wise man at all times to follow can find " 
(82 a). 

Blind Bayard, " who so bold as blind Bayard is? " 
(i9<Z ; 185*2), of persons who act without consideration 
or reflection ; generic for blindness, ignorance, and 
recklessness. It occurs in The Vision of Piers the 
Ploughman (1362), and in Chaucer's Canterbury 

332 Note-Book and Word- List [blind harpers 

Tales (1383). Bayard originaIly = a grey horse; after- 
wards generic ; and Skelton mentions a description of 
horse-loaf called " Bayard's bun." Bayard was a 
horse famous in old romances. See Bayard. 

Blind harpers, see Harpers. 

Bliss, (a) " our Lord bliss me " (79^) — " not one penny 
to bliss him " (89a), bless. 
(b) see Branch. 

Blissing, " this busy blissing and nodding " (115c), 
bliss = to wave about, brandish, sway to and fro : 
probably from the lifting up of hands in consecration ; 
"hardly (O.E.D.) an independent word." 

Blist, " by God's blist " (29^), bliss, joy, happiness. 

Block, see Straw. 

Blocks, " I have more blocks in his way to lay " (70a). 
obstructions, hindrances, impediments. 

Blow, see Cold, Wind. 

Boast, (a) " this matter maketh boast of diminution " 
(ioia), to make boast = to promise well, to seem very 
likely. " Nought trow I the triumphe of Julius, Of 
which that Lukan maketh moche bost." — Chaucer, 
Cant. Tales (1383), 4820-21. 

(b) " Great boast and small roast Maketh un- 
savoury mouths wherever men host " (36c), i.e. large 
promise and little performance is little to one's liking : 
host = lodge, abide. 

Bodkins, " bodkins the tone " (206c), a miTd impreca- 

Body, (a) " the big part of her body is her bum " (24c). 

(b) see Leg. 
Bold, see Blind Bayard. 
Bolt, (a) " mend, as the fletcher mends his bolt " (91a). 

(b) see Fool. 

Bone, see Belly, Flesh and Tongue. 

Bongrace (52a), a forehead cloth, or covering for the 
head ; a kind of veil attached to a hood : afterwards 
the hood itself. " Her bongrace which she wore." — 
Heywood, Pardoner and Frere, Works (E.E.D.S.), 
I. 7 c. 

bow] Note-Book and Word-List 333 

Bood, see Bud. 

Book, see Cross. 

Boord, " in earnest or boord " (47^), jest, joke, mock, 
sport. " Speak but in bord." — Udall, Roister Doister 
(1550), J$d (E.E.D.S., Works). See also Bourd. 

Boot, (a) " it booteth not the worth of a bean " (30a), 
remedy, cure, help, advantage. " This knight thinketh 
his boot thou may'st be." — Calisto and Melibcca 
(E.E.D.S., Anon PL, 1st Ser.). 
(b) see Hekst. 

Borage, " a leaf of borage might buy all the substance 
that they can sell " (25c), i.e. just such a trifle as 
would be a leaf of borage in a salad, as a pot-herb, 
or as an ingredient in cool tankards. 

Borrow, (a) " not so good to borrow as to be able to 
lend " (25a*). 

(b) " till liberty was borrow " (27c), pledged, mort- 
gaged. "To borrow man's soul from blame." — • 
World and Child (c. 1500), E.E.D.S., Anon. PL, 
Ser. I., 186 b. Also as subs (i68d). 

(c) see Day. 

Bosom, " she speaketh as she would creep into your 

bosom " (23d). 
Botcher, see God. 

Bote, " she bote, he cried " (2976), bit. " He bote his 

lippes." — Piers Plow. Vis. t v. 84. 
Bottom, see Brim. 

Bouget, " in her bouget " (756), budget, bag, (and 
figuratively) store. " With that out of his bouget 
forth he drew Great store of treasure, therewith him 
to tempt." — Spenser, Fairy Queen (1590), ill. x. 29. 

Bought, see Dear, Wit. 

Bound, " they that are bound must obey " (68fr). 

Bourd, " sooth bourd is no bourd " (88a ; 183&), a jest 
spoken in earnest is no jest at all; sooth = earnest, 
bourd = a jest: see Boord. "As the old saying is, 
sooth boord is no boord." — Harrington, Briefe Apolo- 
gie of Poetrie (1591). 

Bow, (a) " a bow long bent, at length must wear weak " 
(34c), i.e. a bow drawn back to the utmost and 

334 Note-Book and Word-List [bowed silver 

often : hence " to the top of one's bent " (see also 
the next line of text and the next entry). 

(b) " the bent of your . . . bow " (37a; 218a), in- 
clination, tendency, disposition, course of action. 

(c) " Many strings to the bow " (37a), alternatives, 
more resources than one. " I am wel pleased to take 
any coulor to defend your honor, and hope that you 
wyl remember, that who seaketh two stringes to one 
bowe, the may shute strong, but never strait." — 
Letter of Queen Elizabeth to James VI. (June, 1585). 

(d) see Break. 

Bowed silver (274b), crooked, bent money. 

Bowl, " this seven years, day and night to watch a 
bowl " (71c), seven years = a long time (generic) : i.e. 
may watch his coming and going a long time with- 
out discovering anything. 

Box, " in the wrong box " (92a), mistaken, embar- 
rassed, in jeopardy. " Sir, quoth I, if you will hear 
how St. Augustine expoundeth that place, you shall 
perceive that you are in a wrong box." — Ridley 
("Foxe," 1838), vi. 438 (1554). 

Boy rope, " haleth her by the boy rope " (78b), ? bow- 
rope = (a) ox-bow; (b) a rope of bow-string hemp; or 
(c) bow-string. Hale, in Early English, is employed in 
various ways indicative of rapid movement. 

Brain, " bitten to the brain " (45c), drunk : cf. " hair 
of the dog that bit one." 

Branch, " ere . . . branch of bliss could reach any 
root the flower . . . faded " (17c). 

Brawling, " brawling booteth not " (57c), i.e. tends to 
no advantage : booteth = profiteth. 

Bread, (a) " one . . . that would have better bread than 
is made of wheat " (816). 

(b) " know on which side bread is buttered " (86c), 
recognise one's interests : whence to butter one's bread 
on both sides = to seek advantages from more sides 
than one. 

(c) " better is half a loaf than no bread " (37c), 
the earliest known example of this proverb. 

(d) see Sheep's flesh. 

(c) " within a hair bread " (135^). — " That he de- 

bridle] Note-Book and Word-List 335 

stroied this lond in brede & in length." — R. Brunne, 
p. 41. 

Break, (a) " better is to bow than break " (22a; 199c). 
An early example is found in The Morale Proverbs of 
Cristyne ; originally written in French about the year 
1390 and of which a verse translation by Earl Rivers 
was printed by Caxton in 1478 : " Rather to bowe 
than breke is profitable, Humylite is a thing com- 

(b) " in that house ... a man shall as soon break 
his neck as his fast " (40c). 

Brkaketh, see Inch, Tongue. 

Breath, see Death. 

Breech, (a) " nothing more vain than ... to beg a breech 
of a bare-arsed man " (20c). 

(6) " the master weareth no breech " (58c ; also 208c 
Epigrams), is not master : to wear the breeches = to 
usurp a husband's prerogative (of women). " All 
women be suche, Thoughe the man bere the breeche, 
They wyll be ever checkemate." — Boke of Mayd 
Emlyn (15 15). 

Breed, see Pad. 

Breedeth, see Burr. 

Bretch, " in all that bretch " (936), breach, quarrel, 
source of dissension. 

Brew, " as I . . . brew, so must I . . . drink " (19a), 
in allusion to cause and effect. " If you have browen 
wel, you shal drinke the better." — Wodroephe, 
Spared Houres of a Souldier (1623). 

Bridal (15b), a note as to the origin of the word may 
not be without interest, (a) " There were bride-ales, 
church-ales, clerk-ales, give-ales, lamb-ales, leet-ales, 
Midsummer-ales, Scot-ales, Whitsun-ales, and several 
more." — Brand's Popular Antiquities. 

(b) " it is meet that a man be at his own bridal " 
(15b), a variant of " every man must attend his own 

Bridle, (a) " I gave her the bridle at beginning " (876), 
let her have her own way. 

(b) " she taketh the bridle in the teeth and runneth 

336 Note-Book and Word-List [bridled 

away with it " (87b), the modern version alters 
" bridle " to " bit." 
(c) see Rough Bit. 

Bridled, " I should have bridled her first with rough 
bit, To have made her chew on the bridle one fit " 
(876), fit = a portion or bout of anything — stanza of a 
song, stave of a tune, scene of a play, round at fisti- 
cuffs : here = a space of time. 

Brike, " ye brike all from her, that brought all to you " 
(76a), brike = breach, violation of, or injury done to, 
anyone : hence deplete, " suck dry " (of money and 

Brim, " better spare at brim than at bottom " (66c), 
i.e. at the beginning rather than at the end of one's 

Broid, " better dissemble . . . than to broid him with 
it " (69'fe), braid, abraid, reproach. 

Broken, see Pot. 

Broker, see Knave. 

Broom, " the green new broom sweepeth clean " (54a), 
still proverbial ; in the Epigrams " new broom sweep- 
eth clean " is nearer the modern version (178a). 

Brother, " I will not trust him though he were my 
brother " (40c). 

Buckets, see Well. 

Buckle, " till he at length came to buckle and bare 
thong " (89a), poverty, distress : thong = shoestring. 

Bud, " This bood sheweth what fruit will follow " 
(266), 6ood = bud. 

Bug, " bug's words " (66c), swaggering or threatening 
language ; also " bugbear words " ; of " such bugbear 
thoughts " (Locke). Bug = an object of terror, bogey. 
" Matrimony hath euer been a blacke bugge in their 
sinagoge and churche." — Bale, Votaryes (Pref.) : see 
Bear bugs. 

Built, see Rome. 
Bull, see Cow calf. 
Bum, see Body. 

by and by] Note-Book and Word-List 337 

Burden, " light burden far heavy " (976 ; 188c and d ; 

Burnt child, see Child. 

Burr, (a) "I take her for a rose, but she breedeth a 
burr " (266). 

(b) " they cleave together like burrs " (72b). 

Bush, (a) " while I . . . beat the bush . . . other men 
. . . catch the birds " (9a). Henry the Fifth is re- 
ported to have uttered this proverb at the siege of 
Orleans, when the citizens, besieged by the English, 
declared themselves willing to yield the town to the 
Duke of Burgundy, who was in the English camp. 
" Shall I beat the bush, and another take the bird? " 
said King Henry. The Duke was so offended that 
he withdrew his troops and concluded a peace. " I 
beat the bush, and others catch the bird, Reason 
exclaimes and sweares my hap is hard." — Pettowe, 
Philochasander and Elanira (1599). 

(b) see Bird. 

Butter, (a) " there will no butter cleave on my bread " 
(86c), i.e. nothing by which to profit or advantage* 
(6) "it is not all butter that the cow shits " (94^). 

(c) " she looketh as butter would not melt in her 
mouth " (276), in contempt of persons of simple 
demeanour. " A cette parolle mist dame Mehault ses 
mains a ses costez et en grant couroux luy respondy 
que . . . et que, Dieu merci, aincores fondoit le 
burre en sa bouche, combien qu'elle ne peust croquier 
noisettes, car elle n'avoit que un seul dent." — Les 
Evangiles des Quenouilles (c. 1475). 

(d) " As sure as it were sealed with butter " (86c ; 
189c*), shaky, uncertain. 

Buttered, see Bread. 

Buttery, " thy buttery door " (125c), a larder for dairy 
stuff : hence (now chiefly at the universities and 
colleges) a pantry for provisions generally. 

Buy, (a) " you to buy and sell " (23d), betray, impose 
upon, do for utterly. 
(b) see Borage, Pig. 

By and by (50a, et passim), immediately, forthwith. 

338 Note-Book and Word-List [cage 

Cage, see Cow. 

Cake, " would ye both eat your cake and have your 
cake? " (96a). 

Calf, see Cow and Cow calf. 

Call, " things past my hands I cannot call again " 

Callet (70b), scold, drab, trull. " A wisp of straw 
were worth a thousand crowns, To make this shame- 
less callet know herself — Helen of Greece was fairer 
far than thou." — Shakspeare, 3 Henry VI. (1592), 
ii. 2. 

Calves, " change of pasture maketh fat calves " (62a). 
" Boniface. You may see what change of pasture is 
able to do. Honeysuckle. It makes fat calves in Rom- 
ney Marsh, and lean knaves in London, therefore, 
Boniface, keep your ground." — Dekker and Webster, 
Westward Hoe (1607). 

Cambers, " gable ends, cambers, parlours " (239^), 

Cammock, " timely crooketh the tree that would a cam- 
mock be" (94a), cammock = a. crooked tree or beam, 
a knee of timber : as used in shipbuilding. " Camocks 
must be bowed with sleight not strength." — Lyly, 
Sappho and Phao (1591). 

Can, (a) " can very good skill " (12a), know, able, 
possess. " Though he be ignorant and can little skill." 
— Four Elements (c. 1510), E.E.D.S., Anon. PL, Ser. 
I., 3c. 

(6) see Cup, Thank. 

Candle, (a) " to set up a candle before [or hold a candle 
to] the devil " (24c* ; 173b), propitiate through fear, to 
assist in, or wink at, wrong-doing. " Though not for 
hope of good, yet for the feare of euill, Thou maist 
find ease so proffering up a candell to the deuill." — 
Tusser, Husbandrie (1557), 148. 

(b) " upright as a candle standeth in the socket " 
(52b), as erect as may be. 

(c) " who that worst may shall hold the candle " 

(d) see Cat. 

carterly] Note-Book and Word-List 339 

Canstick, " coll under canstick " (24b), coll = (a) kiss, 
embrace, or (&), deceit: see Coleprophet ; canstick - 
candlestick, which was very generally pronounced 
thus. There was, however, a Christmas game called 
"coll (or coal) under canstick."— (Harsenet, Ded. 
Pop. Impost, 1603.) 

Cap, " my cap is better at ease than my head " (85^ ; 

Cards, " tell thy cards and then tell me what thou hast 
won " (36b). 

Care, see Corner. 

Carpenter, " such carpenters, such chips " (8od), " like 
to its like." " New. By the faith of my body, such 
carpenter, such chips, And as the wise man said, 
such lettuce, such lips. For, like master, like man : 
like tutor, like scholar ; And, like will to like, quoth 
the Devil to the Collier."— Fulwell, Like Will to 
Like (E E.D.S.), 24^. 

Carrain, " her carrain carcase " (56c), rotten, withered : 
a generic reproach. 

Carrier, " I will send it him by John Long the 
carrier " (35^), see John Long. 

Carron, " daws are carron " (151a), carrion. 

Cart, (a) " set the cart before the horse " (79a), to 
begin at the wrong end ; to set things hind side 
before : Fr. " II mettoyt la charette devant les beufz " 
(Rabelais). " He deemes that a preposterous govern- 
ment where the wife predominates, and the husband 
submits to her discretion, that is Hysterion and 
Proteron, the cart before the horse." — Harry White, 
his Humour. 

(b) " the best cart may overthrow " (35c), " acci- 
dents may happen," " there's nothing certain save 
the unforeseen." 

(c) "I am cast at cart's arse " (216), in disgrace : 
offenders were formerly punished by being flogged 
when tied to the hinder part of a driven cart. 

(d) " carts well driven go long upright " (35c), see 
section b supra. 

Carterly, " carterly knave " (145^), " carterly collar " 
(258c), rough, unmannerly. 

Z 2 

340 Note-Book and Word-List [cartwear 

Cartwear, " cartwear of good horse " (186c), carter, 

Carving, " he at meat carving her, and none else before, 
Now carved he to all but her, and her no more " 

Case, (a) •' put case " (passim), to suppose or propose 
a hypothetical instance or illustration : an idiomatic 
expression formerly common in arguments. " Put 
case there be three brethren, John-a-Nokes, John-a- 
Nash, and John-a-Stile." — Returne from Parnassus 

(b) " clear out of the case " (32a), out of the run- 
ning, beyond consideration. 

Cast, (a) " privy nips or casts overthwart the shins " 
(24c) — •" even the like cast hast thou " (33d) — " ye 
nother care nor wellnigh cast what ye pay " (81c), 
both as subs, and verb cast was in full work — throw, 
motion, turn, glance, blow, advice, counsel, plan, 
design, object of desire, attempt at flight, skill, art, 
trick, juggle, fashion, form, pattern, shade, colour, 
tinge, chance, venture, touch, stroke, and many more 
glosses beside, each with their corresponding verbal 
(b) see Cart, Hog, Moon, Sheep's eye, Shoe, Turn. 

Casteth, see Moon. 

Casting, " far casting for commonwealth " (s°d)> 
roundabout search for joint benefit. 

Cat, (a) " a cat may look on a king " (70c ; 189c), said 
of impertinent or misplaced interference ; there are 
certain things an inferior may do in the presence of 
a superior. 

(b) " the cat would (or will) eat fish and would (or 
will) not wet her feet " (34^ ; 220a) ; cf. Shakspeare 
(Macbeth), " Letting, I dare not, wait upon, I would, 
Like the poor cat i' the adage." "Cat lufat visch, 
ac he nele his feth wete." — MS. Trin. Coll. Camb. 
(c. 1250). 

(c) "a woman hath nine lives like a cat" (60c; 

(d) " let the cat wink and let the mouse run " 
(61b , 213d ; 214a). 

(e) "it hath need to be a wily mouse that should 

catterw awing] Note-Book and Word- List 341 

breed in the cat's ear " (7 id). " A hardy mowse that 
is bold to breede In cattis eeris." — Order of Foles, 
MS. (c. 1450). " It is a wyly mouse That can build 
his dwellinge house Within the cattes eare." — Skelton 

(/) " somewhat it is . . . when the cat winketh and 
both her eyne out " (61a). 

(g) " cat after kind, good mouse hunt " (33c). 
" Cat after kind . . . sweet milk will lap." — Jacob 
and Esau (1568), iv. 4 (E.E.D.S. Anon. PI. 2 Ser., 

(h) " little and little the cat eateth the flickle " (82b). 

(t) " no playing with a straw before an old cat " 

(;') " the cat knoweth whose lips she licketh " (98b). 
" Li vilains reproche du chat Qu'il set bien qui barbes 
il leche." — Des trois Dames qui trouverent un Anel 
(c. 1300). 

(fe) " to turne the cat in the pan " (79a), to " rat "; 
to reverse one's position through self-interest ; to play 
the turncoat ; the derivation is absolutely unknown ; 
cat = " cate " or " cake " is historically (says Murray) 
untenable. " Now am I true araid like a phesitien ; 1 
am as very a turncote as the wethercoke of Poles ; 
For now I will calle my name Due Disporte. So, so, 
finely I can turne the catt in the pane." — Wit and 
Wisdom (E.E.D.S., Anon. PL, Ser. 4), 3 (c. 1559), 
" As for Bernard, often tyme he turneth the cat in the 
pan." — Shacklock, Hatchet of Heresies (1565). 

(I) " my cat's leering look . . . showeth me that 
my cat goeth a catterwawing " (70c), i.e. is given to 

(m) " they two agreed like two cats in a gutter " 

(n) " by scratching and biting cats and dogs come 
together " (54c). 

(o) " when all candles be out cats be grey " (13c), 
cf. " If you cannot kiss the mistress kiss the maid "; 
" Joan in the dark is as good as my lady." 

(p) see Bell. 
Catch, (a) " catch that catch may " (226(f), in modern 
form, " catch as catch can." 

(b) see Hare. 
Catterwawing. see Cat. 

342 Note- Book and Word- List [causb 

Cause, " cause causeth " (22b). 

Cha, see Cham. 

Chad, see Cham. 

Chair, " every man may not sit in the chair " (46c), 
it is not given to everyone to rule ; all cannot be 

Chalk, (a) " to compare in taste, chalk and cheese " 
(63c), to compare (or mistake) things utterly different. 
The modern form is " to know chalk from cheese " = to 
have one's wits about one, to know what is worthless 
from what is of value. " Lo ! how they feignen chalk 
for cheese." — Gower, Confessio Amantis (1393). 
" Though I have no learning, yet I know chese from 
ch^Jke." — John Bon and Mast Person (1548). " Do 
not these thynges differ as muche as chalcke and 
chese? " — Shacklock, Hatchet of Heresies (1565). 
" To French and Scots so fayr a taell I tolde, That 
they beleeved whyt-chalk and chees was oen." — 
Churchyard, Chippes (1573). 

(b) " alike in colour to deem ink and chalk " (63c), 
a variant of the foregoing entry. 

Cham, " cham ashamed " (136b), cham = \ am : the 
conventional rustic speech of early plays is a mixture 
of southern and northern dialect, but chiefly the 
former. See other volumes of this series. 

Change, (a) " change be no robbery " (63b ; 204b), an 
excuse for a forced or jesting imposition ; a delicate 
way of making a present : now usually " fair ex- 
change is no robbery." 
(b) see Calves. 

Changed, " would to God he and you had changed 
places " (80c). 

Chat, " no man may chat ought in ought of her 
charge " (24b), chat = talk. " Into a rapture lets her 
baby cry, While she chats him . . ." — Shakspeare, 
Coriolanus (1610), ii. 1. 

Chatting, " chatting to chiding is not worth a chute " 

(69a), it is hardly worth while to answer a scolding. 
Cheap, see Bargains, Best. 
Cheapen, " cheapen a cony " (242c*), price a rabbit. 

chin] Note- Book and Word- List 343 

Check, " checks and choking oysters " (43c ; 122c ; 
1356 ; 244c), taunts, reproaches : see Choking oyster. 

Checker, " not checker a-boord, all was not clear in 
the coast " (89b) ? a-boord = to jest, the prefix a being 
the old intensive. " Not as a checker, reprover, or 
despiser. " — Coverdale, Lewis's Hist. Bible into 
English, 95. 

Cheese, (a) " ye may see no green cheese, but your teeth 
must water " (97c), green cheese = cream cheese. 
(&) see Chalk. 

Chickens, (a) " there is a nest of chickens, which doth 
brood, That will sure make his hair grow through his 
hood " (66b), i.e. deceived, cuckolded as it were. 

Chiding, see Chatting. 

Chieving (iod and 48^), doing, accomplishment. 

Chil, see Cham. 

Child, " burnt child, fire dreadeth " (55b), once 
bit, twice shy. " So that child withdraweth is hond, 
From the fur ant the brond, That hath byfore bue 
brend, Brend child fur dredth, Quoth Hendyng. " — 
Proverbs of Hendyng, MS. (c. 1320). " Timon. Why 
urge yee me? my hart doth boyle with heate, And 
will not stoope to any of your lures : A burnt childe 
dreads the ffyre." — Timon (c. 1590). 

Children, (a) " children learn to creep ere they can 
learn to go " (376 ; 176a). 

(6) " children and fools cannot lie" (38a). "Master 
Constable says : You know neighbours 'tis an old 
saw, Children and fools speake true." — Lyly, Endi- 
mion (1591). 

(c) " better children weep than old men " (34b ; 
175c). It is related in connection with the Gowrie 
conspiracy, that King James VI., about to depart 
from Gowrie Castle, was forcibly prevented by the 
Master of Glammis, and as the tears started to the 
eyes of the young king, 4< better bairns weep than 
bearded men " was the other's observation. 

(d) " ye have many godchildren to look upon, and ye 
bless them all, but ye bass but one " (84^). 

Chin, see Swim. 

344 Note-Book and Word-List [chip 

Chip, (a) " who lacketh a stock his gain is not worth a 
chip " (94c). 

(b) " as merry as three chips " (17c), cf. Shak- 
speare's " dancing chips " (Sonnets, 128). 

(c) see Carpenters, Hew. 

Choking oysters, " checks and choking oysters " (43c), 
taunts and replies that put one to silence. " I have 
a stoppynge oyster in my poke." — Skelton, Bowge of 
Court [c. 1529), 477. " To a feloe laiyng to his 
rebuke that he was over deintie of his mouthe and 
diete, he did with this reason give a stopping oistre." 
— Udall, Apoph. (1542), 61. 

Choose, see 111. 

Choosers, see Beggars. 

Chopped, " chopped down empty candlesticks " (131c), 
" planked " down : chop down = to place with a sud- 
den or violent motion. 

Church, " the nearer to the church, the further from 
God" (21a; 200a). "Qui est pres de l'£glise est 
souvent loin de Dieu." — Les Proverbes communs 
(c. 1500). 

Churl, see Claw. 

Chute, see Chatting. 

Circumquaques (84^), far-fetched and roundabout stories. 

Clargy, " to put me to my clargy " (64b), see rhyme : 
clergy — learning, science, knowledge. " I rede how 
besy that he was Upon clergye, an hed of bras To forge 
and make it for to telle." — Gower, MS. Soc. Antiq., 
134, f. 104. 

Claw, (a) "-thou makest me claw where it itcheth not " 


(b) " claw a churl by th' arse and he shitteth in 
my hand " (Soc). " Claw a churl by the tail and 
he will file your hand." — Jacob and Esau (1568), ii. 3 
(E.E.D.S. Anon. PI. 2 Ser., 36a). 

Clawed, " I clawed her by the back " (24(f). 

Clean, see Broom. 

Cleansing, " in the cleansing week " (136(f), Shrove- 

cloth] Note-Book and Word-List 345 

tide : specifically from the evening of the Saturday 
before Quinquagesima Sunday and Ash Wednesday. 
On the Tuesday all Catholics were accustomed to 

Clear, see Case. 

Clerks, " the greatest clerks be not the wisest men " 
(67a; 211a). " The greatest clerks ben not the wisest 
men, As whilom to the wolf this spake the mare." — 
Chaucer, Cant. Tales (1383), Miller's Tale.. " Now I 
here wel, it is treue that I long syth have redde and 
herde, that the best clerkes ben not the wysest men." 
— Historye of Reynard the Foxe (1481). 

Climbed, " he that never climbed never fell " (46^ ; 

Climme, " yes, climme " (242a), i.e. challenge me to 

Cloak, " what cloak for the rain soever ye bring me " 
(6gd). " Nicholas. 'Tis good to have a cloake for the 
raine ; a bad shift is better then none at all ; He sit 
heere, as if I were as dead as a doore naile. " — Two 
Angry Women of Abingdon (1599). 

Clock, " and looked . . . what it was o'clock " (99b), 
saw how matters stood ; became aware of the facts : 
the phrase is still colloquial or slang. " To know 
what ys a clocke." — Skelton, Works (c. 1513), ii. 132 

Clog, " where nought is to wed with, wise men flee the 
clog" (32a), originally clog= incumbrance ; hence a 
wife : this metaphor occurs very early. " Science. Ye 
have woon me for ever, dowghter, Although ye have 
woon a clog wyth all. Wyt. A clogg, sweete hart, 
what? Science. Such as doth fall To all men that 
joyne themselves in marriage." — Wyt and Science (c. 
1540), Anon. Plays, 4 Ser. (E.E.D.S.). " The prince 
himself is about a piece of iniquity, Stealing away 
from his father with his clog at his heels." — Shak- 
speare, Winter's Tale (1604), iv. 4. 

Cloth, (a) " it is a bad cloth that will take no colour " 

( 9 2d). 

(b) see Coat, Cut. 

346 Note-Book and Word-List [clothes 

Clothes, (a) " to rent off my clothes fro my back " 


(b) see God. 
Clouds, " after clouds black we shall have weather 

clear " (36c ; 173 c). 

Coal, see Cold. 

Coat, " cut my coat after my cloth " (20b), to adapt one- 
self to circumstances; to measure 'expense by income. 
A relic of the sumptuary laws : an early allusion occurs 
in the interlude of Godly Queene Hestor (c. 1530) : 
" There is a cause why, That I go not gay : I tell you of 
a word, Aman that new lord, Hath brought up alJ 
good clothe, And hath so many gowns, as would 
serve ten towns, Be ye never so loth : And any man in 
the town, do buy him a good gown, He is very wroth. 
And will him straight tell, the statute of apparel Shall 
teach him good " (E.E.D.S., Anon. PL, 2nd Ser., 262a). 

Cock, (a) " the young cock croweth as he the old 
heareth " (23c), other readings are : " The young cock 
learneth to crow of the old " (1509) ; " as the old cock 
crows so does the chick " (1589). 

(b) " every cock is proud on his own dunghill " 
(316 ; 217*2), every man is a hero in his own circle ; one 
fights best with friends and backers about him. " )>et 
fleshs is her et home, ase eorfte, )>et is et eorfte : aut for 
]>ui hit is cwointe~t cwiuer, e ase me seift, )>et coc is kene 
on his owne mixenne." — \>e Ancren Riwle {c. 1250). 

(c) " as oft change from hue to hue as doth the 
cocks of Ind " (31a), ? Ind = indigo, the allusion being 
to the changing sheen of the cock's bluish-black 

(d) " he setteth cock on the hoop " (65^), gives way 
to reckless enjoyment ; sets all by the ears ; is proud, 
vaunting, and exultant. " You'll make a mutiny 
among my guests! You will set cock-a-hoop! you'll 
be the man ! " — Shakspeare, Romeo and Juliet (1505), 
»■ 5- 

Cockney, (a) " he that cometh every day shall have a 
cockney, He that cometh now and then shall have a 
fat hen " (44a), Murray breaks up M.E. cokeney into 
coken ey = cock's egg, and defines the word when used 
by Langland as " egg," a rendering which seems 

coll] Note-Book and Word-List 347 

confirmed in the present instance. " I have no salt 
bacon, Ne no cokeney, by Crist, coloppes for to make." 
— Langland, P. Plowman (1363), 4370. 

(b) " a good cockney coke " (97^), i.e. a cockney 
cook : in derision and contempt, with perhaps a play 
on cokes — fool. The origin of cockney ( = one born 
within the sound of Bow Bells) has been much debated ; 
but, says Dr. Murray, in the course of an exhaustive 
statement (Academy, May 10, 1890, p. 320), " the history 
of the word, so far as it means a person, is very clear 
and simple. We have the senses (1) ' cockered or pet 
child,' ' nestle-cock,' 'mother's darling,' 'milksop,' 
primarily the child, but continued to the squeamish 
and effeminate man into which he grows up. (2) A 
nickname applied by country people to the inhabitants 
of great towns, whom they considered ' milksops,' from 
their daintier habits and incapacity for rough work. 
York, London, Perugia, were, according to Harman, 
all nests of cockneys. (3) By about 1600 the name 
began to be attached especially to Londoners, as the 
representatives par excellence of the city milksop. 
One understands the disgust with which a cavalier in 
1641 wrote that he was ' obliged to quit Oxford at the 
approach of Essex and Waller with their prodigious 
number of cockneys.' " 

Cockscomb, " to wear a cockscomb " (67^), the comb of 
a cock was one of the ensigns or tokens of a profes- 
sional fool. 

Coin, " when coin is not common, commons must be 

scant " (516). 
Cold, (a) " let them that be a-cold, blow at the coal " 

(29c*). " Our talwod is all brent, Our faggottes are 

all spent, We may blow at the cole." — Skelton, Why 

come ye not to Court (c. 1520). 
(b) see God, Hot, Key. 

Coleprophet, " ye play coleprophet (quoth I) who taketh 
in hand To know his answer before he do his errand " 
(21a), coleprophet = a false prophet or cheat. " Cole- 
prophet and cole-poyson, thou art both." — Hey wood, 
Ep., 89, Cent. vi. 

Coll, " coll under canstick she can play both hands " 
(24b), see Canstick. 

348 Note-Book and Word-List [collop 

Collop, " it is a dear collop that is cut out of th' own 
flesh " (28d). " God knows thou art a colup of my 
flesh." — Shakspeare, i Henry VI. (1592), v. 5. 

Colours, see Blind, Cloth. 

Colt, (a) " of a ragged colt there cometh a good horse " 
(33^)- " Touchstone. This cannot be fained, sure. 
Heaven pardon my severitie ! ' The ragged colt may 
prove a good horse.' " — Jonson, &c, Eastward Hoe 

(b) "xcolts may prove well with tatches ill ' (33b), 
tache (or tatch) — spot, blemish. 

Come, (a) " come what, come would " (44b). 

(b) " you come to your cost " (34a). 

(c) see Come, Light, Thieves. 

Cometh, (a) " all cometh to one " (50b), in modern 
phrase, " all cometh to him that waits." 
(6) see Eggs, Goeth, Last, Seldom, Time. 

Coming, "it is ill coming . . . to th' end of a shot and 
beginning of a fray " (79c). 

Commodities (10b), matters of advantage or conveni- 
ence (also 120& ; 125a). 

Common, see Jack. 

Commons, " the commons common so " (2436), " people 

Commonwealth, see Casting. 

Consither (56 ; 278c), consider. 

Constantine (193c), Constantinople. 

Conster (13d;, construe, explain. 

Contentation, " rich by his contentation " (144c), satis- 
faction, content. 

Conversion, " join this conversion " (2o8d). " Con- 
version is the changing or altering of words in a 
proposition. . . ." — Wilson (1551), The Arte of 
Logike, fol. 21. 

Convey (486), steal. The classical quotation is of 

counterpoise] Note-Book and Word-List 349 

course from Shakspeare, and from the same authority 
I give illustrations of derivatives : the rendering was 
popular. " Nym. The good humour is, to steal at a 
minute's rest. Pist. Convey, the wise it call." — 
Shakspeare, Merry Wives of Windsor (1596), Act i., 
Sc. 3. " Since Henry's death, I fear there is convey- 
ance." — Shakspeare, 1 Henry VI. (1592), i. 3. " O 
good ! convey? Conveyers are you all, That rise thus 
nimbly by a true king's fall." — Shakspeare, Richard 
H- 1597), iv. 315. 

Cony mop, " sweet cony mop " (242c), an endearment. 

Cook, " a poor cook that may not lick his own fingers " 
(896). " He is an evyll coke y* can not lycke his owne 
lippes." — Vulgaria Stambrigi (c. 1510). " Capulet. 
Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning cooks. 2 Servant. 
You shall have none ill, sir ; for I'll try if they can lick 
their fingers." — Shakspeare, Romeo and Juliet (1595), 
iv. 2. 

Cookquean, see Cuckquean. 

Cope, " segging is good cope " (94a), sedge is good 

Cord, " would to our lord ye had . . . hanged both in 

one cord " (806). 
Corner, " the corner of our care (quoth he) I you tell " 

(20b), corner = gist, the furthest point of probing. 

Corse, " my comely corse " (85a), body. 
Cotsold lion, see Lion. 

Couch, (a) " couch malt and water in house together " 
(2426), lay, place. 

(6) " couch a hogshead " (586), go to sleep : hogs- 
head = head. " I couched a hogshead in a skypper 
this darkmans." — Harman, Caveat (1567), 66 (1814). 

Cough, " thou canst cough in the aumbry " (82**), 
aumbry = cupboard, pantry. " Some slovens from 
sleeping no sooner be up, But hand is in aumbrie, and 
nose in the cup." — Tusser, Five Hundred Points 
(iS73), "■ 5- 

Counsel, see Court, Mum, Three. 

Counterpoise, " whether they counterpoise or outweigh " 

350 Note-Book and Word-List [court 

Court, " I was neither of court nor of counsel made " 
(43ft), i.e. neither approached for advice, nor invited 
to express an opinion. 

Courtesy, " so courtesy, so kind " (255a), polished, 

Covet, " all covet, all lose " (97c; 184a). 

Covetise (12c), covetousness. 

Cow, (a) "the cow is wood" (78a), wood = mad, furi- 

(b) " God sendeth the shrewd cow short horns " 
(27c), shrewd = malicious, badly disposed. " The Bis- 
hop of Sarum sayd, That he trusted ere Christmas 
Day to visit and cleanse a good part of the kingdom. 
But most commonly God sendeth a shrewd cow short 
horns, or else many a thousand in England had 
smarted." — Foxe, Acts and Manuments. 

(c) " as comely as is a cow in a cage " (52(f). 

(d) " Margery, good cow, gave a good meal, but 
then she cast it down again with her heel " (86a). 

(e) " every man as he loveth, Quoth the good man, 
when that he kissed his cow " (53a). 

if) " many a good cow hath an evil calf " (28a). 

Cow-calf, " as well for the cow-calf as for the bull " 

Coy, " as coy as a croker's mare " (526), croker = 

Crabs, " the greatest crabs be not all the best meat " 

Creed, see Paternoster. 

Creep, see Children, Kind. 

Cripple, "it is hard halting before a cripple " (7 id). 
" I perceyve (quod she) it is evill to halte before a 
creple . . . and it is evill to hop before them that 
runne for the bell." — Gascoigne, Fable of Ferdinando 
Jeronimi and Leonora de Valases (1575). 

Croker's mare, see Coy. 

Crook, see Hook. 

crummeth] Note-Book and Word-List 351 

Cross, (a) " now will I make a cross on this gate " 
(43d ; 226b), the cross as the emblem of disappoint- 
ment and misfortune, and the fact that many pieces 
of money were stamped on one side with a cross gave 
rise to many quibbles : see b and c infra, and 226a. " I 
will make a cross upon his gate ; yea, cross on, Thy 
crosses be on gates all, in thy purse none." 

(b) " I cross thee quite out of my book " (44a). 

(c) " since thou art cross failed, avail, unhappy 
hook" (44a), cro55 = money (see a supra); unhappy 
hook = a commiserating address. " Now I have never 
a crose to blesse me, Now I goe a-mumming, Like a 
poore pennilesse spirit, Without pipe or druming. " — 
Marriage of Witt and Wisdome, 1579 (E.E.D.S., 
Anon. Plays, Ser. 4, 227a). " Not a penny, not a 
penny; you are too impatient to bear crosses." — Shak- 
speare, 2 Henry IV. (1598), i. 2. 

Cross row, " worst among letters in the cross row " 
(140b), cross row — Christ-cross row, i.e. the alphabet; 
from a cross placed at either end ; or from an old 
practice of writing the alphabet in the form of a cross 
by way of a charm. Note the difference between the 
old and modern girds at the letter " H " — " aitch " 
v " ache." 

Crow, (a) " we have a crow to pull " (70^), complaint 
to make, quarrel, a bone to pick. " Abelle. Dere 
brother, I will fayre On feld ther our bestes ar, To 
looke if they be holgh or fulle. Cayn. Na, na, abide, 
we have a craw to pulle." — Mactacio Abel, in Towne- 
ley Mysteries (c. 1420). 

(b) " the cjjow thinketh her own birds fairest in the 
wood " (61c). " It must needs be good ground that 
brings forth such good corne ; When I look on him, 
methinks him to be evill favoured, Yet the crowe 
thinkes her black birds of all other the fairest." — 
Lupton, All for Money (1578). 

(c) " as good then to say, the crow is white " (69a ; 
203b, and c), " You're talking nonsense, or worse, tell- 
ing lies." 

(d) see High. 

Croweth, see Cock. 

Crummeth, " cracketh and crummeth " (79a), crumbleth. 

352 Note-Book and Word-List [cry a leison 

Cry a leison (78b), i.e. Kyrie eleison (" Lord, have 
mercy "), a short petition used at the beginning of 
the Roman Mass. The phrase was early the subject 
of punning allusions. Tyndale uses it in the sense 
of a complaint or scolding (Obed. Chr. Man, 130b, 
1528) ; and Heywood, in the present instance, appar- 
ently means something of the same kind, with an 
added sarcasm in his corrupted orthography, " cry a 
leison " ( = a cry a [la] Alison, which appears (89b) to 
be the name of the wife of whom the husband is 

Cuckquean, " ye make her a cookquean " (766), a 
female cuckold : here possibly also a play on " cook." 

Cumbreth, " the kitchen cumbreth not by heat " (125c), 
is not a trouble, source of annoyance. 

Cunning, " that cunning man " (66d), orig. knowledge, 
skill, learning, no bad sense being implied : as early 
as the time of Lord Bacon, however, the word was 
on the down-grade in meaning, influenced, no doubt, 
by the mundane truth that skill in the hands of the 
unscrupulous is used to defraud those less gifted. " If 
I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget 
her cunning." — Bible, Auth. Vers. (161 1), Psalm 
cxxxvii. 5. " The cunning manner of our flight, Deter- 
mined of." — Shakspeare, Two Gent., ii. 4. 

Cup, " merry ... as cup and can could hold " (60a). 

Cupshotten, " somewhat cupshotten " (31a), drunk. 

Curried, see Horse. 

Curryfavel, " they can curryfavel and make fair 
weather " (666), curryfavel^ flatter. 

Cushion, (a) " ye missed the cushion, for all your 
haste " (97c), idiomatic : from the practice of archery 
= to fail in an attempt, to miss the point. " Trulie, 
Euphues, you have mist the cushion, for I was neither 
angrie with your long absence, neither am I well 
pleased at your presence." — Lyly, Euphues (1581). 

(6) " I may set you beside the cushion " (97c), i.e. 
pass over with contempt, ignore, shelve. " Thus is 
he set beside the cushion, for his sincerity and for- 
wardness in the good cause." — Spalding, Hist. i. 291. 

Cut, see Coat. 

day] Note-Book and Word-List 353 

Dagger, (a) " he beareth a dagger in his sleeve " (35ft), 

i.e. hidden, in reserve, ready for use. 

(b) " it be ill playing with short daggers " (47c), 

in modern phrase, " edged tools." 
Daiment, " sufferancee is no quittance in this daiment " 

(64^), ? judgment, settlement: cf. daysman = umpire, 

arbitrator. Day (in legal sense) = return of a writ, 

Dainties, see Dear. 
Dame, " he that will not be ruled by his own dame shall 

be ruled by his stepdame " (92^). 
Dance, " sufferance is your dance " (68b), rdle, lot : 

cf. " to lead one a dance." 
Danceth, " he danceth attendance " (2igd), to wait 

upon constantly and obsequiously. 

Dark, see Fair. 

Darling, " it is better to be an old man's darling than 
a young man's warling " (80a), wawl as verb = to 
wrangle ; hence as subs, (it occurs only in this proverb) 
it probably = an object of nagging or bad temper. 
"Leave this brawling and wawling." — Misogonus, 
Anon. Plays, 2 Ser. 227a. 

Daw (passim), an empty-headed, foolish fellow. " He 
that for commyn welth bysyly Studyeth and laboryth, 
and lyveth by Goddes law, Except he waxe ryche, 
men count hym but a daw ! " — Four Elements (c. 
1510), Anon. Plays, Ser. 1 (E.E.D.S.), qd. " Good 
faith, I am no wiser than a daw." — Shakspeare, 
1 Henry VI. (1592), ii. 4. 

Day, (a) " one day was three till liberty was borrow " 
(27c), borrow = pledged, mortgaged. 

(b) " I see day at this little hole " (26b), in modern 
phrase, "daylight"; an echo, possibly, of another 
proverbial saying — " It is always darkest before the 

(c) " Say no more till the day be longer " (202b). 

(d) " be the day never so long, evermore at last they 
ring to evensong " (82b). " For though the day be 
never so long At last the bell rings for evensong." — 
Hawes, Pastime of Pleasure. 

(e) " the day ot doom shall be done " (85a). 

354 Note-Book and Word-List [dayment 

(/) " farewell, my good days, they will be soon 
gone " (57a). 

(g) see Dog, Fair, Rome. 

Dayment (2810"), judgment. 

Dead, (a) " for gain (he) is dead and laid in tomb " 

(b) " I have ... a dead man's head in my dish " 
(80b), the " dear departed " of modern phrase. " As 
bold-fac v d women, when they wed another, Banquet 
their husbands with their dead love's heads." — 
Marston, Insatiate Countess. 

(c) see Devil, Shoes. 

Deaf, (a) " then were ye deaf, ye could not hear on 
that side " (90a"), i.e. wilfully deaf. 

(b) " who is so deaf as he that will not hear? " 

Dear, (a) " whoso that knew what would be dear, 
should need be a merchant but one year " (4b ; 171a). 
(b) " dear bought and far fet are dainties for 
ladies" (38a 1 ), /et = fetched. "Some far fet trick, 
trick good for ladies, some stale toy or other." — 
Marston, Malcontent (1604). " Niece. Ay, marry, sir, 
this was a rich conceit indeed. Pompey. And far 
fetched; therefore good for you, lady." — Beaumont 
and Fletcher, Wit at Several Weapons (1614). 

Dearest, " to buy the dearest for the best alway " 
(Sic), cf. " cheap and nasty." 

Death, (a) " death ! . . . take me that time, to take 
a breath " (45a), waiting for dead men's shoes profiteth 

(b) " though love decree departure death to be " 

Deed, " deed without words " (71b). 

Denay (2220*), deny : note the rhyme. 

Departure, see Death. 

Desart (238c), desert : note the rhyme. 

Desert, " desert and reward be ofttimes things far 
odd " (42a). 

Destiny, see Wedding. 

devil] Note-Book and Word-List 355 

Devil, (a) " the devil hath east a bone to set strife " 


(b) " young saint, old devil " (27c ; 177a), this 
occurs in MS. Harleian (c. 1490). 

(c) " he must have a long spoon that would sup 
(or eat) with the devil " (7id). " Therefore behoveth 
him a ful long spone, That shal ete with a fend : thus 
herd I say." — Chaucer, Squieres Tale (Cant. Tales, c. 
1383). " Courtesan. Will you go with me? Dromio. 
Master, if you do, expect spoonmeat or bespeak a long 
spoon. Antipholus. Why, Dromio? Dromio. Marry, 
he must have a long spoon that must eat with the 
devil." — Shakspeare, Comedy of Errors (1593), iv. 3. 

(d) " like as the devil looked over Lincoln " (91c). 
" The middle or Rood tower of Lincoln Cathedral is 
the highest in the whole kingdom, and when the spire 
was standing on it, it must, in proportion to the 
height of the tower, have exceeded that of old St. 
Paul's, which was five hundred and twenty feet. The 
monks were so proud of this structure, that they 
would have it that the devil looked upon it with an 
envious eye : whence the proverb of a man who looks 
invidious* and malignant, ' he looks as the devil over 
Lincoln.'" — Tour through England and Wales (1742). 
Ray gives another account : " It is probable that it 
took its rise from a small image of the devil standing 
on the top of Lincoln College, in Oxford." — Proverbs 

(e) " he must needs go when the devil doth drive " 
(78c). " There is a proverb which trewe now preveth, 
He must nedes go that the dyvell dryveth." — Hey- 
wood, Johan Johan, Tyb, and Syr Jhan. 

(/) " the devil is no falser than is he " (7id). 

(g) " the devil go with thee down the lane " 

(h) " meet to set the devil on sale " (77b). 

(*') "the devil in th' orloge " (63d; 195a and b). 
" Some for a tryfull pley the devyll in the orloge." — 
Harman, Vulgaria (1530). 

(j) "the devil is dead" (91c; 184c and d; 185a 
and b). 

(k) " the devil with his dam hath more rest in hell 
than I . . . with thee " (856). 

A A 2 

356 Note-Book and Word-List [dieu-gard 

(J) *' the devil's good grace might have given a 
greeting " (99c). 

(m) " I will not bear the devil's sack " (73d), com- 
pound a wrong. 

(n) " what change may compare to the devil's life 
like his that have chosen a devil to his wife? " (74c). 

(o) see Candle. 
Dieu-gard, " a beck as good as a dieu-gard " (29d), a 
salutation, " God save you ! " still in use in Scots 
Masonic lodges as a salute. " Each beck of yours shall 
be in stead of a diew garde unto me." — Florio, Second 
Frutes (1591), 81. 

Diners, " dinners cannot be long, where dainties want " 
(51b) ; the old spelling, by an oversight, is retained in 
the text. 

Dirty puddings, see Dogs. 

Discommodities (135c), disadvantages : see Commodi- 

Discrive (16a), describe. 

Diseased, " more diseased by early lying down " (55c), 
disease formerly was generic for " absence of ease." 

Disguise, " three cups full at once shall oft disguise 
thee " (2476), make drunk. " Harp. I am a prince 
disguised. Hit. Disguised! How? Drunk!" — 
Massinger, Virgin Martyr (1622), iii. 3. 

Dish, (a) " I may break a dish there " (38d), have a 
meal, take pot-luck, ply knife and fork. 

(b) " as well as the beggar knoweth his dish (or 
bag)," see Bag. 

Distaff, see Tow. 

Ditch, see Blind. 

Do, (a) " it is as folk do and not as folk say " (73b). 
(6) " nought can she do and what can she have then " 

Dock, " in dock, out nettle " (54d), a charm for a 
nettle sting which early passed into a proverb expres- 
sive of inconstancy. " Ye wete well Ladie eke (quoth 
I) that I have not plaid racket, Nettle in, Docke 
out, and with this the weathercocke waved." — 
Chaucer, Testament of Love. " Is this my in dock, 

dog] Note-Book and Word-List 357 

out nettle? " — Middleton, More Dissemblers besides 
Women (1623). 

Doe, " when he hunteth a doe that he cannot avow all 
dogs bark not at him " (72a). 

Dog, (a) " a man may handle his dog so that he may 
make him bite him " (85c). 

(b) " when he hunteth a doe that he cannot avow 
all dogs bark not at him " (72a). 

(c) " it is ... a poor dog that is not worth the whist- 
ling " (43&)- 

(d) " unable to give a dog a loaf " (81b). 

(e) " a dog will bark ere he bite " (856). 

(/) " she will lie as fast as a dog will lick a dish 

(g) "a dog hath a day " (36^), or, in modern 
phrase, " every dog has its day "; i.e. a period during 
which he is in his prime. 

(h) " an old dog biteth sore " (75b). " Olde dogges 
bite sore." — Churchyard, Handeful of Gladsome Verses 

(t) " it is hard to make an old dog stoop " (85c). 

(;') " to help a dog over a stile " (39b), the modern 
version has " lame dog " : to give a hand, to assist 
in difficulty. " Here is a stile so high as a man 
cannot help a dog over it." — Marston, Insatiate Coun- 
tess (1605), ii. 2. 

(h) " a hair of the dog that bit us last night " 
(45c), a pick-me-up after a debauch : apparently a 
memory of the superstition, which was and still is 
common, that, being bitten by a dog, one cannot do 
better than pluck a handful of hair from him, and lay 
it on the wound. Old receipt books advise that an 
inebriate should drink sparingly in the morning some 
of the same liquor which he had drunk to excess over- 

(/) " it is ill waking of a sleeping dog " (30a ; 172c), 
cf. " let sleeping dogs lie." 

(m) " at every dog's bark, seem not to awake " 

(n) " hungry dogs will eat dirty puddings " (140), 
another proverb declares that a hungry man will eat 
anything, except Suffolk cheese. 

(o) see Cat, Love. 

358 Note-Book and Word-List [doing 

Doing, see Saying. 

Dole, (a) " his dole is soon done " (37<i), lot, share. 

Happy man be your dole = a general wish for success. 

" Happy man be his dole that misses her." — Grim 

the Collier of Croydon. 

(b) " ye deal this dole out at a wrong door " {gd), 

your charity is ill bestowed. 
Done, (a) " as good undone as do it too soon " (74a). 

(b) " things done cannot be undone " (26a). 

(c) " better it be done than wish it had been done " 

Doom, see Day. 

Doon (30c), done. 

Door, (a) "it is good to have a hatch before the door " 
(32c), hatch = a wooden partition coming over the lower 
half of a doorway and leaving open the upper half. 

(b) see Dole, Wrong. 

(c) " he turned her out of doors to graze on the 
plain " (99<2). 

Dorter, " the mouth is the tongue's dorter " (274a), a 
dormitory or sleeping room. " Slepe as monke in his 
dortoure." — Langtoft, p. 256. 

Doting, " after a doting and drunken deed, let submis- 
sion obtain some mercy or meed " (28c), doting = 
foolish, silly. 

Doyt (80c), doth. 

Draff, " the still sow eats up all the draf " (27c ; ig6d), 
" draf is your errand, but drink ye would " (31^), 
dra/jf = dregs, dirt, refuse, anything thrown away as 
unfit for food. " 'Tis old but true, Still swine eat 
all the draff." — Shakspeare, Merry Wives (1596), 
iv. 2. 

Drawlatch, see John Drawlatch. 

Drede (73b), fear : in a lesser degree than is usually 
conveyed by the word. 

Drink, (a) " I drink (quoth she) ; quoth he, I will not 
pledge " (6od). 

(b) see Brew, Draff. 

(c) " then thoushalt drink " (293d), a play on the 

dyke] Note-Book and Word-List 359 

two meanings of drink ( = (a) imbibe and (b) suffer 
punishment) was common in old writers. " I hold a 
penny ye will drink without a cup." — Udall, Roister 
Doister (E.E.D.S. i8d), i. 3. 
(d) see Horse. 

Drivel, "drivel and drudge" (83b), drivel = servant. 
" To encourage the husband to use his wife as a vile 
dreuell."— Udall, Corinth., ch. xi. 

Driveth, see Nail. 

Droppeth, see Hunger. 

Drudge, see Drivel. 

Drunk, (a) " drunk in the good ale glass " (45c), i.e. 
in a state of " alecie." 

(b) " he that killeth a man when he is drunk shall 
be hanged when he is sober " (28c). 

Duck, "like a duke? like a duck! " (86b), a play on 

Dump, " which dumb dump " (132^), a melancholy 
strain. " To their instruments Tune a deploring 
dump." — Shakspeare, Two Gent. (1595), I ii - 2. 

Dun ass, see Ass. 

Dunghill, see Cock. 

Dunstable, " as plain as Dunstable highway " (69b), 
plain Dunstable = anything homely, plain, simple — 
why, is not clear : sometimes byeway. " These men 
walked by-wayes, and the saying is, many by-walkers, 
many balkes, many balkes, much stumbling, and 
where much stumbling is, there is sometime a fall ; 
howbeit there were some good walkers among them, 
that walked in the king's high way ordinarily, up- 
right, plaine Dunstable way." — Latimer, Sermons 
(d. 1555). 

Dur (gd t 20c, 26b, 32c, &c), door (A.S.). 

Dyke, (a) " my beautiful marriage lieth in the dyke " 
(8b), see Beautiful, 
(b) see Blind. 

360 Note-Book and Word-List [ear 

Ear, (a) "in at the tone ear and out of the tother " 
(92 d ; 1836). " Troilus, that nigh for sorrow deide, 
Tooke little hede of all that ever he ment ; One eare 
it heard, at the other out it went." — Chaucer, Troilus 
and Creseide (1369). 

(b) " her ears might well glow, for all the town 
talked of her" (52c; 2iSd), that the ears burn when 
talked of by someone absent is still a prevalent super- 

(c) " you had on your harvest ears, thick of hear- 
ing " (91a). " Thine eares be on pilgrimage, or in 
the wildernes, as they say commonly, thou hast on 
thy harvest eares, vestrce peregrinantur aures." — 
Withal, Dictionary (1608), 46. 

(d) " he must both tell you a tale and find you ears " 

(e) " by the ears " (54^), quarrelling, at strife. 
" Were half to half the world by the ears, and he 
Upon my party, I'd revolt." — Shakspeare, Coriolanus 
(1610), i. 1. 

(/) " thy ear groweth through thy hood " (198a), 
as the mark of an ass or a cuckold. 
(g) see Bird, Pitchers, Sow. 

Early " early up and never the near " (6d), near = 
nearer. " Better far off than near, be ne'er the 
near." — Shakspeare, Richard II. (1597), v. 1. 

Ease, see Cap, Inn, Nothing, Sufferance. 

East, " the longer east, the shorter west " (50b). 

Eat, see Blind, Cat. 

Eateth, see Sow. 

Ebb, (a) " he was at an ebb, though he be now afloat " 
(38b), in difficulties or hard up, but now in better 

(b) " thou art at an ebb in Newgate " (176b). 

Eel, " as sure to hold as an eel by the tail " (24c), i.e. 
slippery, unreliable. " Cauda tenes anguillam : you 
have an eele by the taile." — Withal, Dictionary (ed. 
1634), 554- " Paulo momento hue illuc impellitur. 
Hee is as wavering as a wethercocke. He is heere 
and their all in a moment. Theirs as much holde to 
his word, as to take a wet eele by the taile." — 
Terence in English (1614). 

exigent] Note-Book and Word-List 361 

Eel-skins, " we shall see him prove a merchant of eel- 
skins " (66c). 

Eggs, " in came the third, with his V eggs " (52c ; 
220c), to interfere, meddle, put in one's spoke. " What, 
come you in with your seven eggs? " — Misogonus, 
Anon. PL, 2 Ser., 1886 (E.E.D.S.). 

End, (a) " some loose or odd end will come . . . some 
... day " (45a). 

(6) " such beginning, such end " (946). 

(c) " the game from beginning sheweth what end is 
meant " (75^). 

(d) see Beginning, Good. 

Enough, (a) " enough is enough " (103a). " And of 
enough enough, and nowe no more, Bycause my 
braynes no better can devise ... It is enough and as 
good as a feast." — Gascoigne, Memories (1575). 

(b) "enough is as. good as a feast" (103a; 209^). 
" It is an olde proverb He is well at ese y* hath 
enough and can say ho." — Dives and Pauper (1493) 

(c) " he that knoweth when he hath enough is no 
fool " (81c). 

(d) " here is enough and too much " (82c). 

Envied, " better be envied than pitied " (32a). 
Epigrams, see Bibliography. 

Errand, (a) " thus is thine errand sped " (79c!). 

(b) " I am sped of mine errand " (ioid). 

(c) see Draff, Sleeveless, Errand. 

Errata, see page 466. 

Even, " I shall be even with him " (31c), on equality 
with, quits with : now chiefly colloquial. 

Even reckoning, see Reckoners. 

Evensong, see Day. 

Everychone (5^), everyone. 

Ewe, " she can wink on the ewe and worry the lamb " 

Exigent, " brought ... an exigent " (260a), extremity, 
situation of difficulty. " Hath driv'n her to some 
desperate exigent." — Wisdome of Dr. Dodypole (1600). 
E.E.D.S. Anon. PL, 7 Ser., s.v. Exigent. 

362 Note-Book and Word-List [extremities 

Extremities, " flee th' attempting of extremities " (68c), 
i.e. avoid the harshest measures. 

Eye, (a) " I might put my winning in mine eye and 
see never the worse " (42a). " You have had con- 
ferences and conferences again at Poissy and other 
places, and gained by them just as much as you 
might put in your eye, and see never the worse." — 
Bramhajl, Works, i. 68. " Bating Namure, he might 
have put all the glorious harvests he yearly reap'd 
there into his eye, and not have prejudic'd his royal 
sight in the least."— T. Brown, Works (d. 1682), 
ii. 329. 

(b) " better eye out than alway ache " (19^; 1706). 

(c) " he winketh with the tone eye and looketh with 
the tother " (40&). 

(d) " that the eye seeth not, the heart reweth not " 
(78c). " The blinde eats many a flie, and much water 
runnes by the mill that the miller never knowes of : 
the evill that the eye sees not, the hart rues not." — 
Greene, Never too Late (1590). 

(e) " blame me not too haste for fear mine eves be 
bleared " (8d), haste = hastily. 

(/) see Fields. 

Eyesore, " but an eye sore " (13b ; 1730). " Quod the 
Barbour, but a lytell eye sore." — Merry Jests of the 
Wyddow Edyth (1525). 

Fableth (12 ib), see next entry. 

Fabling, " without fabling " (15b), exaggeration, the 
long bow, lie. " Without fable or guile." — Four 
Elements (c. 1500), E.E.D.S., Anon. Plays, Ser. 1. 

Face, (a) " I did set a good face on the matter " 
(187^), make the best of things. 

(b) " two faces in one hood" (23d; iSod), double- 
dealing, shuffling. " Alberto. Not play two parts 
in one? away, away, 'tis common fashion. Nay, if 
you cannot bear two subtle fronts under one hood ; 
ideot, goe by, goe by ; off this world's stage ! O 
times impuritie ! " — Antonio and Mellida (1602). 

(c) "their faces told toys" (17^), told tales: see 

(d) " thy face is shorn against the wool " (198(f). 

fardle] Note-Book and Word-List 363 

Fain, see Fool. 

Fair, (a) " the fair lasteth all the year " (57b ; 177b), 
any time or every day is meet for the purpose : see 
next entry. 

(b) " a day after the fair " (20a), too late, when 
everything is over. 

(c) " fair words did fet " (53c), politeness costs 
nothing: fet — fetch. 

(d) " the grace of God is worth a fair " (46^), a 
matter or affair to remember. 

(e) " the fair and the foul by dark are like store " 
(13c), comparisons are not always possible; under 
some circumstances quality is no matter ; in the dark 
all cats are grey. 

(/) see Thread. 

Fair and well (96^), farewell. 

Fair words, see Fool, Tongue. 

Fall, (a) " to fall in and not to fall out " (31a), to 
concur and agree, and not to disagree, quarrel, or 
fall at odds with. 
(6) see Sit. 

Falleth, see Sheaf, Sky. 

False, (a) "I fear false measures " (73d). 
(6) " as false as fair " (94c). 

(c) " as false as God is true " (78a). 

(d) see Knave. 

Falsehood, " falsehood in fellowship " (69c; 2116), fel- 
lowship = companionship. 

False measures, see Measure. 

Fancy, " fancy may bolt bran and make ye take it 
flour " (62c), make-believe counts for much. 

Far, (a) " I have seen as far come as nigh " (34a ; 216a), 
the drip of water wears away the stone. 

(b) " things erst so far off, were now so far on " 
( 9 6d). 

(c) see Runneth. 

Fardle, " best fardle in my pack " (151^), article, item, 
piece, property ; a burden of any kind. 

364 Note-Book and Word-List [fare 

Fare, (a) " ye see your fare, set your heart at rest " 
(43d ; 227c), business, conduct, goings on, course, path. 

(b) " fare ye well how ever I fare " (43d). 

(c) " her time to take up to show my fare at best " 
(43d), see supra a. 

(d) " well mote ye fare " (43d). 

Faren, " have gone further and have faren worse " 
(62c), faren = fared. 

Farewell, (a) " farewell and feed full — that love ye well 
to do, but you lust not to do that longeth thereto " 
(34c), i.e. like to live well without the right to do so. 
(b) see Day. 

Fart, (a) " I shall get a fart of a dead man as soon as 
a farthing " (37^). 

(b) " they that will be afraid of every fart must go 
far to piss " (69c). 

(c) " the tone cannot piss but the tother must let a 
fart " (67c). 

Farther, see Church. 

Farthing, (a) " she thinketh her farthing good silver " 
(26d ; 217c). "Take example at me ... I thought 
my halfpeny good silver within these few yeares past, 
and no man esteemeth me unlesse it be for counsell." 
— Gascoigne, Glasse of Government (1575). 

(b) " but for a farthing who ever did sell you might 
boast you to be better sold than bought " (27a). 

(c) " one farthing worth of good " (26b), a low 
standard of value. 

Fashion, (a) " every man after his fashion " (38c), prob- 
ably a pun (a common one at the time) on fashion = 
farcy. " Sh. What shall we learn by travel? An. 
Fashions. Sh. That's a beastly disease." — Old For- 
tunatus (1600). 
(6) see Best. 

Fast, (a) <T fast bind, fast find " (Bd ; 224c). " Where- 
fore a plaine bargain is best, and in bargaines 
making; fast bind, fast find." — Jests of Scogin (1565). 
(b) see Goeth, Hold, Last, Weed. 

Faster Lane (284ft), Foster Lane. 

Fat, (a) " the fat is in the fire " (8b ; 217^), all is con- 
fusion, all has failed : of failures and the results of 

fed] Note-Book and Word-List 365 

sudden and unexpected revelations and disappoint- 
ments. "Faith, Doricus, thy braine boils; keele it, 
keele it, or all the fatt's in the fire." — Marston, 
What You Will (1607). 

(b) " a swine over-fat is cause of his own bane " 

(c) " little knoweth the fat sow what the lean doth 
mean " (30a). 

(d) " the fat clean flit from my beard " (9a). 

(e) see Hog. 

Fault, (a) " he hath but one fault, he is nought " 


(b) " hard is for any man all faults to mend 

Faultless, " he is lifeless that is faultless " (35c), i.e. 
perfection is not attained during life. 

Faver (5a), favour : see the rhyme " have her " in next 

Feaked, " the fool was feaked for this " (148b), beaten, 

Fear, see False. 

Feast, see Enough. 

Feat, " handling of things feat " (133b) — " frame in 
feat " (137&), neat, dextrous, elegant. " And look 
how well my garments sit upon me, Much feater 
than before." — Temp., ii. 1. 

Feather, (a) " she may not bear a feather but she must 
breathe " (26^), i.e. much ado about nothing, moun- 
tains made of molehills. 

(b) " if your meet-mate and you meet together, then 
shall we see two men bear a feather " (42c), of means 
employed altogether disproportionate to the end in 

(c) "I gat not so much ... as a good hen's 
feather or a poor eggshell " (44b), said of altogether 
inadequate results. 

(d) " he would fain flee, but he wanteth feathers " 
(35 c )» condition, substance : compare the modern " not 
a feather to fly with." 

(e) see Goose. 

Fed, (a) " better fed than taught " (256 ; 174a). 

366 Note-Book and Word-List [feed 

(b) " he that gapeth till he be fed may fortune to 
fast and famish for hunger " (21c), " if you want a 
thing done, do it yourself," " God helps those who 
help themselves," " he that will not work cannot 

(c) see Tun. 

Feed, " feed by measure and defy the physician " (8id), 
i.e. use and do not abuse things ; temperance bringeth 

Feet, (a) " he thinketh his feet be where his head shall 
never come " (35c). 

(b) " here is since thou earnest too many feet abed " 
(79^), i.e. you are not wanted, are de trop ; your room 
is desired more than your company. 

(c) see Cat. 

Fell, (a) " too fell " (129*2), irritating, sharp, keen. 

(b) see Climbed. 

(c) " they fell out and . . . they fell in " (55a). 

Fellow, see Thief. 

Fellowship, see Falsehood, Poverty. 

Ferder, " the ferder thou art " (216a), further : still in 
vulgar use. 

Ferne, " old feme years " (5^), long ago, bygone. 

Fet, (a) " fet him in some stay " (32a) — " ye can fet as 
much " (95c), fetch. " From thence we fet a com- 
pass." — Bible, Author. Ver. (161 1), Acts xxviii. 13. 
[Such archaisms in the Scriptures were not completely 
changed until well into the eighteenth century.] 
(b) see Fair. 

Fetters, (a) " no man loveth his fetters be they made 
of gold " (19c). " Who would weare fetters though 
they were all of gold ? Or to be sicke, though his faint 
browes, for wearing night-cap, wore a crown." — 
Webster, Sir T. Wyatt (1607). 

(b) " were I loose from the lovely links of my 
chain I would not dance in such fair fetters again " 

Few, (a) " few know and fewer care " (1006). 
(b) see Kinsfolk. 

fingerJ Note-Book and Word-List 367 

Fewer, " the fewer, the better fare " (79c). 

Fields, (a) " fields have eyes and woods have ears " 
(yob), now usually "walls have ears." "The were 
bettur be still; Wode has erys felde has si5t Were 
the forster here now right, Thy wordis shuld like the 
ille."— King Edward and the Shepherd, MS. (c. 1300). 
(b) " bidding me welcome strangely over the fields " 
( 4 od). 

Fiend, see Devil. 

Fierce, see Lion. 

Filth, " a false flattering filth " (23d), a generic term 
of contempt — slut, slattern, or worse. " If the filth 
be in doubt." — Gammer Gurton's Needle (c. 1562), 
E.E.D.S., Anon. Plays, Ser. 3, 136^. 

Find, (a) " ye seek to find things ere they be lost " 
(34a), i.e. "too previous." 

(b) see Fast, Seek. 

Findeth, " he findeth that seeks " (25b). 

FiNe, " in fine " (45^), in conclusion, finally, to sum up. 
" In fine, delivers me to fill the time, Herself most 
chastely absent." — Shakspeare, All's Well that Ends 
Well (1598), iii. 7. 

Finger, (a) " [folly] to put my finger too far in the fire " 
(57^), i.e. to meddle or interfere too much. 

(&) " to make me put my finger in a hole " (73c). 

(c) " with a wet finger ye can fet as much as 
may easily all this matter ease " (95c), i.e. easily, 
readily : as easy as turning over the leaf of a book, 
or rubbing out writing on a slate. " He darting an 
eye upon them, able to confound a thousand conjurers 
in their own circles, though with a wet finger they 
could fetch up a little divell." — Dekker, A Strange 
Horse-Race (1613), sig. D 3. See Wet finger. 

(d) " each finger is a thumb " (66a), of clumsy 
handling. " Each finger is a thumb to-day, methinks." 
— Udall, Roister Doister (1534), i. 3. (E.E.D.S., 

Works, 2od). 

(e) " I suck not this out of my own finger's end " 

(43 a )« 

(/) "I perfectly feel even at my finger's end " 
(14c), i.e. know perfectly, am fully familiar with. 

368 Note-Book and Word-List [fire 

Fire, (a) " where fire is, smoke will appear " (70a), there 
is no effect without a cause : see infra. 

(b) " there is no fire without some smoke " (6gd), 
see su?pra. 

(c) " make no fire, raise no smoke " (6gd) t see supra. 

(d) "soft fire maketh sweet malt" (6c; 170a), 
gentle means are best ; take things quietly. " O 
Maister Philip, forbeare ; you must not leape over the 
stile before you come at it ; haste makes waste ; soft 
fire makes sweet malt; not too far for falling; there's 
no hast to hang true men." — Haughton, Two Angry 
Women of Abington (1599). 

(e) " fire in the tone hand and water in the tother " 

(/) to lay fire and tow together " (73c), to court 
danger or disaster. 

(g) see Child, Fat, Frying pan. 

Fish, (a) " fish is cast away that is cast in dry pools " 


(b) " she is neither fish nor flesh nor good red 
herring" (24^), nondescript; neither one thing nor 
another ; neither hay nor grass. " Wone that is nether 
flesshe nor fisshe." — Roy, Rede me and be nott Wrothe 
(1528), i. iij. b. " Prince Henry. An otter, sir John ! 
why an otter? Falstaff. Why? she is neither fish nor 
flesh; a man knows not where to have her." — Shak- 
speare, 2 Henry IV. (1598), iv. 3. 

(c) " old fish and young flesh doth men best feed " 
(6id), i.e. mature fish and young womanhood. 

(d) " all is fish that cometh to net " (39c), all serves 
the purpose. " But now (aye me) the glasing christal 
glasse Doth make us thinke that realmes and townes 
are rych, Where favour sways the sentence of the law, 
Where al is fishe that cometh to net." — Gascoigne, 
Steele Glas (1575). 

(e) see Cat. 

Fished, " he hath well fished and caught a frog " (32a). 
" Well I have fished and caught a frog, Brought little 
to pass with much ado." — Latimer, Remains. 

Fishing, " it is ill fishing before the net " (38^; 221&). 

Fit, (a) " by that surfeit ... I feel a little fit " (55c), 
disordered, out of sorts. 

flibergibet] Note-Book and Word-List 369 

(&) " for a beginning this was a feat fit " (57c), a 
round of a contest, struggle, or fight. 

Five, see Eggs. 

Flea, " a flea in his ear " (35a), an annoying suggestion 
or experience, a good scolding. 

Fleabiting, " a fleabiting " (57c ; 208c), a trifle, any- 
thing of little or no moment. " Their miseries are but 
fleabitings to thine." — Burton, Anat. Melan. (1621). 

Flebergebet (256; 286c), = sycophant, smooth-tongued 
talker. " And when these flatterers and flibbergibbes 
another day shall come and claw you by the back." — 
Latimer, Sermons (d. 1555), fol. 39. 

Flee, (a) "flee charge and find ease" (34c), charge = 
business, matters, affairs, anxieties, cares, responsi- 

(b) " worst part to flee " (69c). 

Fleet, see Afloat. 

Flek, " flek and his make" (70a), flek = a generic re- 
proach (of man or woman), specifically in contempt as 
of something altogether insignificant; make = com- 
panion. " Fie upon me ! 'tis well known I am the 
mother Of children, scurvy fleak ! 'tis not for nought 
You boil eggs in your gruel." — Davenant, Wits (1636). 

Flesh, (a) " it will not out of the flesh that is bred in 
the bone " (87c), i.e. cannot be eradicated ; in modern 
phrase, " What's bred in the bone will come out in the 
flesh." " He values me at a crack 'd three farthings, 
for aught I see. It will never out of the flesh that's 
bred in the bone. I have told him enough, one would 
think, if that would serve ; but counsel to him is as 
good as a shoulder of mutton to a sick horse." — 
Jonson, Every Man in his Humour (1596). 
(6) see Fish. 

Fletcher, " mend as the fletcher mends his bolt " 
(91a), i.e. not at all. " Her mind runs sure upon a 
fletcher, or a bowyer ; however, I'll inform against 
both ; the fletcher for taking whole money for pieced 
arrows ; the bowyer for horning the headmen of his 
parish, and taking money for his pains." — Rowley, 
Match at Midn., O. PI. (Reed), vii. 378. 

Flibergibet, see Flebergebet. 


37© Note-Book and Word-List [flies 

Flies, (a) "hungry flies bite sore" (91c; 182&). 

(b) see Blind. 
Flim-flam (246), a lie, imposition. 

Flinging, " by flinging from your folks at home " 
(gib), flinging = departing hastily, " rushing off." 

Flounder, see Frying pan. 

Flower, " she is not only the fairest flower in your 
garland, but also ... all the fair flower thereof " (886). 

Flown, see Bird. 

Flung, " he . . . flung away amain " (133a). 
Fly, see Blind. 

Foal, " how can the foal amble if the horse and mare 
trot? " (33c). 

Folk, " as folk ring bees with basins " (786). 

Follow, " the wise man at all times to follow can find " 

Folly, see Hog, Wall. 

Fond, " to wed with me fond are " (qd), fond = pleased. 

Fool, (a) " No fool to the old fool " (56b ; 203d). 
" Comedie upon comedie he shall have ; a morall, a his- 
torie, a tragedie, or what he will. One shal be called 
the Doctor's dumpe . . . and last a pleasant Enterlude 
of No Foole to the Olde Foole, with a jigge at the 
latter end in English hexameters of O Neighbour 
Gabriel!! and his wooing of Kate Cotton.'" — Nash, 
Have with you to Saffron Walden (159b). 

(b) "a fool's bolt soon shot " (58^ ; 205^), in quot. 
sot = {ool. " Sot is sot, and that is sene ; For he wel 
speke wordes grene, Er ther hue buen rype. ' Sottes 
bolt is sone shote,' Quoth Hendyng." — Proverbs of 
Hendyng, MS. (c. 1320). 

(c) " fair words make fools fain " (69b ; 204c and 
d). " When thou art become one of that courtlie 
trayne, Thinke on this proverbe olde, quod he, that 
faire woordes make fools faine." — Paradyse of Dayn- 
tie Devises (1578). 

(d) "God sendeth fortune to fools" (73d; 190c); 
cf. " God watches over children, drunkards, and 

(e) see Children. 

foul bird] Note- Book and Word- List 371 

Foot, (a) " he loveth her better at the sole of the foot 
than ever he loved me at the heart root " (70^). 

(b) " wrap it in the cloth and tread it under foot 

(c) " folk shew much folly, when things should be 
sped, to run to the foot, that may go to the head " 
(676). " Thou that stondys so sure on sete, Ware lest 
thy hede falle to thy fete." — The Boke of Curtasye, 
MS. (c. 1350). 

(d) see Black ox. 

(e) " set in foot " (2246 and c). 

Footman ship, "swift footmanship " (n8d), pedestrian- 

Forbodden, " these hens be forbodden your sight " 
(1166), forbidden. 

Forgave, " he forgave her, as he forgiven would be " 

Forgetteth, see Parish priest. 

Forgive, " to forgive and forget " (90a). 

Forgiven, " forgiven and forgotten " (59b). 

Forgo, see Nought. 

Forspeak, " forspeak not your fortune " (38c), gainsay. 

Forthink, " better foresee than forthink " (148^), grieve, 
vex, repent. 

Fortune, see God. 

Foster, " no longer foster, no longer lemman " (96c), 
foster = to cherish, indulge, harbour; lemman = 
darling, beloved one. 

Foughten, " a hard foughten field where no man 
scapeth unkilled " (45^). 

Foul, (a) " foul water as soon as fair will quench hot 
fire " (13c). 

(b) " though her mouth be foul she hath a fair 
tail " (13d), i.e. though she be shrewish yet her person 
is desirable. 

(c) see Fair. 

Foul bird, see Bird. 

B B 2 

372 Note-Book and Word-List [four quarters 

Four quarters, " since my four quarters in four 
quarters shall stand " (131a), quartering and drawing 
after hanging was once the punishment of treason. 

Fox, (a) "be a man never so greedy to win, He can 
have no more of the fox but the skin " (96a ; i8gd). 
(6) " when the fox preacheth, then beware your 
geese " (82c ; 201c). 

'Fraid, " more 'fraid than hurt " (nc). 

Fray, " fray babes . . . from dugs " (261c), frighten, 
terrify. " Whenne Jacob was moost in fray, God 
him counfortide, that al do may." — Cursor Mundi, 
MS. Coll. Trin. Cantab, f. 30. 

Free, see Thought. 

French, see Gentleman, Tott'n'am. 

Friday, " he may his part on Good Friday eat and fast 
never the worse " (36a), i.e. have nothing, Good 
Friday being a " black " or total fast. 

Friend, (a) " a friend is never known till a man hath 
need " (46a ; 218b). 

(b) "prove thy friend ere thou have need" (46a; 

(c) " ye may write to your friends that ye are in 
health " (62b ; nod). 

(d) " even reckoning maketh long friends " (213a). 

(e) see Kinsfolk. 

Fro (passim), from. 

Frog, see Fished. 

Frying pan, " out of the frying pan into the fire " 
(72c), from bad to worse. 

Full, see Tun. 

Furder (iQ2<i), further : now dialectal or vulgar : see 

Further, (a) " might have gone further and have faren 
worse " (62c), see next entry. 

(6) " the further ye go, the further behind " (88b ; 
183c), see previous entry. 

gear] Note-Book and Word-List 373 

Gains, see Light. 

Gall, " rub him on the gall " (716), gall = a sore, a 
rubbed place. " Enough, you rubbed the guiltie on the 
gaule." — Mirr. for Mag. (1559), 463. 

Galled, (a) " Gup ! with a galled back, Gill " (52J). 
(b) see Horse. 

Gander, " not a more gaggling gander hence to Chester " 
(30^), cackling goose, a woman given to immoderate 
laughter and idle talk. " But when the priest is at 
seruice no man sitteth, but gagle and ducke like so 
many geese." — Hackluyt, Voyages (1582), i. 241. 

Gaps, (a) " to stop two gaps with one bush " (95a), to 
do (or achieve) a double purpose : cf. " to kill two birds 
with one stone." 

(6) " to stop gaps with rushes " (95a), a simile of 
futile effort. 

Gards, " broidered gards " (243c), trimmings, facings, 
ornaments on dress. " Nay, mock not, mock not; the 
body of your discourse is sometimes guarded with 
fragments ; and the guards are but slightly basted on 
neither." — Shakspeare, Much Ado (1600), iii. 4. " On 
rhimes are guards on wanton Cupid's hose." — Shak- 
speare, Love's L. L. (1594), iv. 3. 

Garsons, " small wages maketh poor garsons " (226c), 
youth, page : Fr., gar con. " Ther sone was a prowde 
garson, Men hym clepyd syr Befown." — MS. Cantab., 
Ff. ii. 38, f. 115. 

Gat, " she gat a husband " (25^), got : an old preterite. 

Gate, see Cross. 

Gay, (a) " all thing is gay that is green " (54a), green = 
fresh, new, recent : cf. a green memory. 

(b) " as we may we love to go gay " (27a). 

Gean, see Triacle. 

Gear, c< ware that gear " (71^), i.e. be careful of that 
matter : gear formerly did service for not only dress or 
ornament, but for outfit of all kinds, goods, and pro- 
perty generally ; also matter, business, affair, &c. 
" I will remedy this gear ere long ! " — Shakspeare, 
2 Henry VI. (1594), iii. 1. 

374 Note-Book and Word-List [geat 

Geat, " nor nought we can geat " (na), get: see the 
rhyme with " meat " in next line. Another example 
occurs (1516), where " geat me " rhymes with " eat 

Geese, see Fox. 

Gentle, " farewell, gentle Geoffrey " (36b). 

Gentleman, " Jack would be a gentleman if he could 
speak French " (35b) is obviously a relic of the Nor- 
man subversion of England. Speaking of the rule of 
the Anglo-Norman kings, the elder Disraeli writes : — 
" This was the time when it was held a shame among 
Englishmen to appear English. It became proverbial 
to describe a Saxon who ambitioned some distin- 
guished rank, that ' he would be a gentleman if he 
could but talk French.' " — Amenities of Literature. 

German's lips, see Jerman. 

Gid, " such a gid did her head take " (40c), properly 
a disease in sheep, now known as " sturdy," marked 
by staggers, stupor, &c, and which is caused by an 
insect in the brain : hence gid here = " maggot," fancy, 
" bee in bonnet." 

Gift, (a) " throw no gift again at the giver's head " 
(37c; 17c), cf. " look no gift horse in the teeth." 

(b) " as free of gift as a poor man of his eye " 

Gift horse, see Horse. 

Gill, (a) wanton, strumpet : but the word, a common 
female name, does not always carry a bad meaning. 
(b) see Jack. 

Ginifinee, see Nycebecetur. 

Girdle, see Head, Key. 

Give, " better to give than to take " (136 ; 169b), a later 
form is " better to give than to receive." 

Giver's head, see Gift. 

Gleaning, " thou goest a-gleaning ere the cart have 
carried " (34b), i.e. you are " too previous " ; you seek 
a thing before it is lost. 

Glisters (Glitters or Glistens), see Gold. 

god] Note-Book and Word- List 375 

Glome, Glomed, " did lower and glome " (23c) — " folks 
glomed on me too " (23c), lour, look gloomy. 

Glow, see Ear. 

Go, see Children, Come, Further, Light, Run. 

God, (a) " she is one of them to whom God bad ho ! " 
(39^; 1996), ho = stop: a common exclamation to 
arrest attention, and more particularly a call to cessa- 
tion of action : " There is no ho with him " = he is 
not to be restrained. 

(b) " God is where he was " (46^; 218a). 

(c) " here is God in th' aumbry " (63d; 194^), {a) 
aumbry = cupboard, pantry, almonry; specifically a 
room in which alms were distributed ; and (b) ambry 
= a niche or cupboard near the altar in a church in 
which were kept the utensils used for public worship ; 
a slight confusion exists between the two forms which, 
however, is of little moment. 

(d) " every man for himself and God for us all " 
(q6d; 1846). 

(e) " God is no botcher " (53a ; 177a). 

(/) " alway the grace of God is worth a fair " (46*-), 
see Fair. 

(g) " out of God's blessing into the warm sun " 
(67a), from bad to worse ; " to jump out of the fry- 
ing-pan into the fire " : and conversely, " I am too 
much i' the sun" (Hamlet, i. 2) = unfortunate, un- 
blessed. " Therefore if thou wilt follow my advice, and 
prosecute thine own determination, thou shalt come 
out of a warme Sunne into God's blessing." — Lyly, 
Eaphues (1579), 23b. " Pray God they bring us not, 
when all is done, Out of God's blessing into this 
warm sun." — Harrington, Epig. (d. 1612), ii. 56. 

(h) " God sendeth cold after clothes " (116). " Dieu 
donne le froid selon la robbe," is the French form of 
this proverb, found in Les Pr&mices (1594), by Henry 

(1) " God never sendeth mouth but he sendeth 
meat " (1 id). 

(;') " there was God . . . when all is done " (17c). 

(k) " who hopeth in God's help his help cannot 
start" (11c), start = change, put aside, alter. 

(I) " God stint all strife " (88d). 

(m) " God have mercy, brother " (88d). 

376 Note-Book and Word-List [godchildren 

(n) " spend and God shall send " (66d). 

(o) " God will send time to provide for time " (47b). 

(/>) " God and Saint Luke save you " (43a). 

(q) "God sendeth fortune to fools" (75c?; 190c). 

(r) see Church, Cow, Horse. 

Godchildren, see Children. 

Godfrey, see Gentle. 

Goeth, (a) " as fast as one goeth another cometh " 

(b) see Hare, Pot. 

Gold, (a) " all is not gold that glitters " (27c). " Uns 
proverbes dit et raconte Que tout n'est pas ors c'on 
voit luire. " — Li Diz de freire Denise cordelier (c. 
1300). "All things that shineth is not by and by pure 
gold." — Udall, Ralph Roister Doister (1566). See 
also Chaucer, Chanones Yemannes Tale, and Lydgate, 
On tfie Mutability of Human Affairs. 

(b) " a man may buy gold too dear " (81c). 

(c) " in words gold and whole " (ijd), words of 
wisdom and import : the simile of golden speech is 
common, and on the other hand we have, " Speech is 
silvern, but silence is golden." 

(d) see Fetters. 

Good, (a) " of a good beginning cometh a good end " 
(25^). " But in proverbe I have herde saie, That who 
that well his warke beginneth, The rather a good ende 
he winneth." — Gower, Confessio Amantis (1393). 

(b) " a man far from his good is nigh his harm " 
(91c; 193a). 

(c) " thev know no end of their good nor beginning 
of any goodness " (39c) : see d. 

(d) " he knoweth none end of his good " (2216). 

(e) " to do me, not the more good, but the less 
harm " (24^). 

(f) " may do her good and you no harm " (29a). 

(g) " if he be good now, of his ill past no force " 
(33^)> by repentance and well-doing forgiveness is 

(h) " with many conditions good, one that is ill 
Defaceth the flower of all, and doth all spill " (76^), i.e. 
" the strength of a chain is that of its weakest link." 

gosling] Note-Book and Word-List 377 

(t) " evil gotten good never proveth well " (42^). 

(/) " her good be laid up so, lest thieves might spy 
it, that n'other she could, nor he can, come by it " 

(k) " he that hath plenty of goods shall have more; 
He that hath but little, he shall have less ; He that 
hath right nought, right nought shall possess " (46b). 

(I) " I hope good hap be not all outworn " (93d). 

(m) " she . . . for love . . . he . . . for good . . . 
to wed " (128c), good (as in c, d, i, j) = property. 

(n) see Beginning, Enough, Farthing, Feast, Good, 
Horse, Merry, Play, Wind, Wit. 

Good cheap, see Bargains, Best. 

Goodwin Sands, " set up shop upon Goodwin's sands " 
(02c), properly Godwin Sands, from Godwin Earl of 
Kent, the father of King Harold II. The land now 
represented by these quicksands (off the east coast of 
Kent) was given to the monastery of St. Augustin at 
Canterbury, but the abbot neglecting to keep the sea 
wall in repair, the tract was submerged about 1100. 

Goose, (a) " the pure penitent that stale a goose and 
stuck down a feather " (42c ; 201a), otherwise " to steal 
a goose and give the giblets in alms." 

(b) " as deep drinketh the goose as the gander " 
(82c?), " what is good for the goose is good for the 
gander " is the modern version. " Gentlewoman, 
either you thought my wits very short, that a sip of 
wine could alter me, or else yours very sharp, to cut 
me off so roundly, when as I (without offence be it 
spoken) have heard, that as deepe drinketh the goose 
as the gander." — Lyly, Euphues and his England. 

Goose giblet, see Hare. 

Gosling, " who meddleth in all things may shoe the 
gosling " ($<)d ; 209c), undertake a work of superero- 
gation, engage in a foolish or profitless task. " Whoso 
melles of wat men dos, Let hym cum hier and shoo 
the ghos." — Inscrip. in Whalley Church (c. 1434). 
" What hath lay men to do The gray goose for to 
sho ! " — Skelton, Colin Clout (c. 1510). Compare " It 
is as great pyte to se a woman wepe as a gose to go 
barefote." — Hundred Mcry Talys (c. 1525). 

378 Note-Book and Word-List [gospel 

Gospel, " all is not gospel that thou dost speak " (57a), 
the exact truth. 

Gotten, (a) " soon gotten, soon spent " (76a). 

(b) " ill gotten, ill spent " (76a). 
Grace, (a) "in space cometh grace" (11a; 171a), in 
time a condition of mind and conduct that embel- 
lishes character and commands favour and esteem : 
cf. past grace = devoid of shame. 
(b) see Heart. 

Graffs (228^), grafts, slips, cuttings, young plants. 

Graft, " then graft we a green graft on a rotten root " 
(45 a )- 

Grass, (a) " while the grass groweth the horse 
sterveth " (36^). " Whylst grass doth growe, oft 
sterves the seely steede." — Whetstone, Promos and 
Cassandra (1578). " Ay, sir, but, While the grass 
grows, — The proverb is something musty." — Shak- 
speare, Hamlet (1596), iii. 2. 
(b) see Heart. 

Grateth, " where this . . . gravely grateth " (6b), 
touches, concerns, disturbs. " Grating so harshly all 
his days of quiet." — Shakspeare, Hamlet (1596), iii. 1. 

Grease, " she fryeth in her own grease " (44^), to be 
left vindictively or resentfully alone : also " stew in 
one's own juice." " But certeynly I made folk such 
chere That in his owne grees I made him frie." — 
Chaucer, Prologue of Wyf of Bathe. 

Great, see Small. 

Greatest, see Clerks. 

Greedy, " they be both greedy guts all given to get " 
(39c), gluttons. " Edace, an eater, a devourer, a 
greedigut." — Florio, Worlde of Wordes (1598). 

Green, see Cheese, Moon, Rushes. 

Greeves, (a) " lamenting their greeves " (47a), here 
shin shackles or the stocks, with an eye on the old 
plural of grief. An iron foot was formerly so called 
(see Mir. Mag. 46). 

(b) see 180b, Epigram 69. " On Theft and Re- 

gyles] Note-Book and Word-List 379 

Grieves, see Greeves. 

Grindstone, see Nose. 

Groaning, " a groaning horse and a groaning wife 
never fail their master " (60c), groaning-wife = a 
woman ready to lie-in. " As smoothe as a groaning- 
wive's bellie." — Nashe, Unf. Trav. (1594), 92 (Chis- 
wick Press, 1892). 

Groat, (a) see Bestill. 

(b) " not worth a groat " (33d, 386), a small stand- 
ard of value; grey groat = something of no value, a 
" brass farthing." " I'll not leave him worth a grey 
groat." — Marlowe, Jew of Malta (1586), iv. 4. 

(c) " who can sing so merry a note As may he that 
cannot change a groat? " (47a). 

Groin, " like a hog hangeth the groin on her husband " 
(74c), groin (A.N.) = to grumble, and as subs. = 
grumbler, malcontent: usually "groiner." 

Gromwell seed, " fair words did fet gromwell seed 
plenty " (53c), possibly with an eye on gravelled = 
worried, vexed ; gromwell seed being anciently ad- 
ministered for the cure of gravel. 

Ground, (a) " these lovers . . . think the ground bear 
them not " (25c), i.e. in modern phrase, are " up in 
the skies," have neither eyes nor ears for aught but 
their mutual endearments. 
(b) see Stools. 

Groweth, see Grass, Weed. 

Guest, (a) " an unbidden guest knoweth not where to 
sit " (216). 

(&) " I bid you to dinner as no guest " (59a), i.e. 
without formality, to take " pot-luck," as we now 
have it. Or, it may be elliptical = " as we have no 
invited guests." 

Gunstone, see Pith. 

Gutter, see Cat. 

Gyles, " dread of such gyles " (48c), guiles, deceits. 
" Many on trowyn on here wylys, And many tymes 
the pye hem gylys."— MS. Harl. (1701), f. 3. 

380 Note-Book and Word-List [hab or nab 

Hab or nab (gb), have or have not, without order, by 
fair means or foul. 

Hackney-men (40b), originally proprietors of horses let 
for hire: hackney = a saddle horse. It was not until 
the reign of Charles I. that the title was transferred 
to the drivers of vehicles, the year 1625 being the 
date of the first appearance of hackney coaches in the 
streets of London. They were then only twenty in 
number, but the innovation occasioned an outcry 
(Sharman) : " The world runs on wheeles. The hack- 
ney-men, who were wont to have furnished travellers 
in all places with fitting and serviceable horses for 
any journey, (by the multitude of coaches) are un- 
done by the dozens, and the whole commonwealth 
most abominably jaded, that in many places a man 
had as good to ride on a wooden post, as to poast it 
upon one of those hunger-starv'd hirelings." — Taylor, 
Works (1630). 

Had, (a) "had I wist" (6c; 2igd), had I known: a 
common exclamation in old writers, who also used it 
substantively. " But, out alas, I wretch too late did 
sorrowe my amys, Unless lord Promos graunt me 
grace, 4n vayne is had-y-wist." — Whetstone, Promos 
and Cassandra (1578), ii. 2. " His pallid feares, his 
sorrows, his affrightings, His late-wisht had-I-wists, 
remorcefull bitings." — Browne, Brit. Past. (1613), L, 

"• 57- 

(b) " who had that he hath not would do that he 
doeth not " (95^). 

Haddock, (a) " not worth a haddock " (99^), of small 
value : cf. " as witty as a haddock " = downright fool- 
ish (Hickscorner [c. 1550], E.E.D.S., Anon. Plays, 
Ser. 1, 153b). 

(b) " thus had he brought haddock to paddock " 
(qqd), outrun the constable: haddock = cod — purse 
(" the fish we call a hadock, or a cod " [Florio]) — 
the meaning thus being, a purse or bag of money 
has melted as if cast to the paddocks (frogs). 

Hair, (a) " make his hair grow through his hood " 
(666 ; 198a), go-betweens will become rivals : usually the 
phrase means " to cuckold." " It will make his hair 
grow through his hood." — Ingelend, Disobedient Child 
(c. 1550), Works (E.E.D.S.), 74b. " French hood, 

hand] Note-Book and Word-List 381 

French hood, I will make your hair grow thorough." 
— Middleton, Anything for a Quiet Life (1662). 

(6) " long hair and short wit " (82^). " Hair ! 'tis 
the basest stubble ; in scorn of it The proverb sprung, 
— He has more hair than wit." — Decker, Satiromastix 
(1602). " More hair than wit, — it may be; I'll prove 
it : The cover of the salt hides the salt, and therefore 
it is more than the salt : the hair, that covers the 
wit, is more than the wit, for the greater hides the 
less." — Shakspeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona (1595), 
iii. 2. 

(c) " take a hair from his beard " (78^). 

(d) see Chickens, Dog. 

Half, (a) " this half sheweth what the whole meaneth " 
(8 4 d). 

(b) " that's just if the half shall judge the whole " 

(c) " half warned, half armed " (77a), the modern 
version is " forewarned, forearmed." 

Halfpenny, see Hand. 

Hall, " it is merry in hall when beards wag all " (79^), 
an extremely popular saying in olden times. " 'It is 
merry in hall when beards wag all.' Husband, for 
this, these words to mind I call : This is meant by 
men, in their merry eating, Not to wag their beards 
in brawling and threating. — Wife, the meaning hereof 
differeth not two pins, Between wagging of men's 
beards and women's chins " (167b). 

Halting, see Cripple. 

Halter, " thy taking of thine halter in thine arms 
teacheth other to beware of their harms by thine " 

Halves, " as for that, reason runneth to halves — As 
well for the cow calf as for the bull " (62a), see 

Hand, (a) " so hard is your hand set on your half- 
penny " (14c ; 174b), eye on main chance, attention 
on self-interest. " Ri. Dromio, looke heere, now is 
my hand on my half-peny. Half. Thou liest, thou 
hast not a farthing to lay thy hands on." — Lyly, 
Mother Bombie (1594). 

382 Note-Book and Word-List [hang 

(b) " lay your hand on your heart " (101c), as a 
symbol of sincerity. 

(c) " glad is he that hath her in hand " (52^), under 

(d) "many hands make light wark " (666; 22id). 
" The werke is the soner done that hathe many 
handes : Many handys make light werke : my leve 
child." — How the Goode Wif Thaught hit Doughter 
(c. 1471), 113. 

(e) " both their hands full " (73c). 

(/) " she can play on both hands " (246), is expert, 
" wide." 

(g) see Bird, Call, Claw. 

Hang, (a) " he that hangeth himself a Sunday, Shall 
hang still uncut down a Monday for me " (33b). 

(b) " hang the bell about the cat's neck " (38^), 
see infra. " But they are loth to mell, and loth to 
hang the bell about the cat's neck, for dread to have 
a check." — Skelton, Colin Clout (c. 15 18), 165. " But, 
quoth one Mouse unto the rest, Which of us all dare 
be so stout To hang the bell cat's neck about? If 
here be any, let him speake. Then all replide, We 
are too weake : The stoutest Mouse and tallest Rat 
Doe tremble at a grim-fac'd Cat." — Diogines Lan- 
thorne (1607). 

(c) see Keys. 

Hanged, (a) " he that hath an ill name is half hanged " 
(77a), or modern, " give a dog a bad name and hang 

(b) see Cord, Hatchet. 

Hanging, see Wedding. 

Hap, (a) " such hap here hapt " (48c) — " brought by good 
hap " (75c), chance, fortune : subs, or verb. 
(b) " in hope of good hap " (100c), see supra. 

Happeth, " it happeth in an hour that happeth not in 
seven year " (38c ; 172c). 

Happy, (a) "happy man, happy dole" (gd ; 224^), a 
generic wish for success. " Wherein, happy man be 
his dole, I trust that I Shall not speede worst, and 
that very quicklv." — Edwards, Damon and Pith., 
O. PL (Reed), i. " 177. 

(b) " better be happy then wise " (75c ; 1906). 

hare] Note-Book and Word-List 383 

Harborough, " good harborough " (223d), shelter, har- 
bour, refuge. " Ah pleasant harborough of my heart's 
thought! Ah sweet delight, the quick'ner of my soul." 
— Wilmot and others, Tancred and Gism. 

Hard, (a) " ill believed and worse hard " (916), heard : 
note the rhyme. 
(b) see Cripple. 

Hardly, " hardly if ye can " (59c), boldly, certainly. 
" And hardly, aungel, trust therto, For doughtles it 
shal be do."— MS. Coll. Trin. Dubl. D. iv. 18. 

Hard wall, see Wall. 

Hardy, " ye be hardy " (135^), courageous, bold. 

Hare, (a) " there goeth the hare away" (73a; 190a), 
" that's the gist, trend, secret, why and wherefore of 
the matter." " Man. By my fayth a ly tell season 
I folowd the counsell and dyet of reason. Gets. 
There went the hare away." — Medwall, Nature (1510). 

(b) " to hold with the hare and run with the 
hound " (24a ; 180c), play a double game, keep on 
good terms with two contending parties. 

(c) " mad as March hare " (73a; 184b), a proverbial 
type of madness ; but Skelton has it differently. 
" Thanne they begynne to swere and to stare, And 
be as braynles as a Marshe hare." — Blowbol's Test 
(14 — ?). "As mery as a Marche hare." — Skelton, 
Magn. (1526), 930. " I saye, thou madde Marche 
hare." — Skelton, Replycation Against Certayne Yong 
Scolers (1520). 

(d) " catch (or hunt for) a hare with a taber " (21a), 
to engage in or attempt a hopeless task : the taber 
was a shallow drum beaten with the fingers. " The 
poore man that gives but his bare fee, or perhaps 
pleads in formd pauperis, he hunteth for hares with 
a taber, and gropeth in the darke to find a needle in 
a botle of hay." — Greene, Quip for an Upstart Cour- 
tier (1592), Harl. Misc., v. 407. " One day after the 
set of this comet men shall catch hares with tabers." 
— Simon Smel-knave, Fearefull and Lamentable 
Effects of Two Dangerous Comets (1591). 

(e) " set the hare's head against the goose jiblet " 

384 Note-Book and Word-List [harm 

(64a). " Ide set mine old debts against my new 
driblets, And the hare's foot against the goose gib- 
lets." — Decker, Shomakers Holiday (1600). 

Harm, (a) " there is no harm done in all this fray, 
Neither pot broken nor water spilt " (44c). 

(b) " thou art so wood thou knowest not who doth 
thee harm, who doth thee good " (86c). 

(c) "it is good to beware by other men's harms " 

Harp, (a) " ye harp on the string that giveth no 
melody " (63d), dwell persistently : see infra. 

(b) " harp no more on that string " (g6d ; 184c), 

Harpers, " have among you blind harpers " (79b), a 
proverbial pledge in drinking. Macaulay observes 
that in the old ballad poetry, all the gold is " red " 
and all the ladies "gay." So, also, the harpers are 
blind. The Poet's Blind Man's Bough : or, Have 
among you blinde Harpers, was the title of a tract 
by Martin Parker, printed in 1651. " Leoc. Have 
towards thee, Philotas. Phil. To thee, Archippus. 
Arch. To thee, Molops. Molops. Have among you, 
blind fiddlers." — Cartwright, Koyall Slave (1651). 

Harvest, " a long harvest for a little corn " (46c). 

Harvest ears, see Ears. 

Haskard, " as I were a haskard " (291(f), a sloven. 

Haste, (a) " haste maketh waste " (60c ; 169(f). 

(b) " the more haste the less speed " (7a). 

(c) " in more haste than good speed " (20b). 

(d) " no haste but good " (97c). 

(e) " then seeth he haste and wisdom things far 
odd " (7a). 

(/) " ye had like haste to waste " (95b). 

Hasty, " hasty man never wanteth woe " (76 ; 167(f), 
" Thou wert afire to be a ladie, and now your ladi- 
ship and you may both blowe at the cole, for aught I 
know. ' Selfe doe, selfe have.' ' The hastie man 
never wanteth woe,' they say." — Jonson, &c, East- 
ward Hoe (1605), v. 1. 

Hat, " mine old hat must have a new band " (52(f). 

head] Note-Book and Word-List 385 

Hatch, see Door. 

Hatchet, " I have hanged up my hatchet " (33b ; 197*2). 

Hath been, " ye know what he hath been ... ye know 

not what he is " (37^). 
Haut, " men haut or high " (Sid), haut = proud. " No 

lord of thine, thou haught insulting man." — Shak- 

speare, Richard II. (1597), iv. 1. 

Have, see Harpers, Hold, Nought, Wind, Wish. 

Havoc, " he maketh havoc " (65^). 

Hawk, (a) " she hath one point of a good hawk, she is 
hardy " (64b), bold, stubborn. 

(b) " he hath his hawks in the mew, but With 
empty hands men may no hawks allure " (666), mew 
= a place where falcons were kept. 

Hawking, (a) " the first point of hawking is hold fast " 

(b) " hawking upon me, his mind herein to break " 
(18a), spluttering, spitting : hawk is from Welsh 
"hochi," apparently an imitative word (Skeat). 

Head, (a) " then have you his head fast under your 
girdle" (jib ; 205b), on the hip, "in chancery." 

(b) " break my head and give me a plaster " (95b). 

(c) " a scald head is soon broken " (60b). 

(d) " my aching head to ease I will couch a hogs- 
head " (58b), see Couch. 

(e) " when the head acheth, all the body is the 
worse " (85*2). 

(/) " their heads be full of bees " (47c), projects : 
usually denotive, however, of crazy crotchets. " But, 
Wyll, my maister hath bees in his head." — Edwards, 
Damon and Pithias (1571). 

(g) see Nail. 

(h) " to-morrow I will to my beads to pray that as 
ye both will, so ache your heads " (58a). 

(i) " so many heads, so many wits " (9c ; i6Sd). 
" Quot homines tot sententiae " (Terence). " For 
amonge feaders are alwayes sondry appetytes, and in 
great assemblyes of people, dyvurse, and varyaunt 
judgements ; as the saynge is, so many heades, so 
many wyttes." — Queen Elizabeth, Godly Meditacyon 
of the Christen Sowle (1548). " Ah, sirha, I see wel 

386 Note-Book and Word- List [healing 

the olde proverbe is true, which saith : so many men 
so many mindes." — Gascoigne, Glasse of Government 


(k) " two heads are better than one " (23a). 
(I) see Cap, Dead, Foot, Gift. 

Healing, " It is ill healing of an old sore " (87c). 

Health, " ye may write to your friends that ye are in 
health " (62b ; 2iod). 

Hear, (a) "a man should hear all parts, ere he judge 
any " (49b ; 202^). 

(b) " I cannot hear on that side " (187c), an excuse 
for wilful deafness. 

Heart, (a) " to set at my heart that thou settest at thy 
heel " (34b ; 175a and b). 

(b) " she taketh such heart of grace " (87c), to pick 
up courage, some thinking it was originally " to take 
heart at grass " : in the Epigrams on Proverbs (183d) 
both forms occur — " thou takest heart of grass . . . 
not heart of grace." " He came within the castle 
wall to-day, His absence gave him so much heart of 
grace, Where had my husband been but in the way, 
He durst not," &c. — Harington, Ariost. (1591), xxi. 39. 
" Seeing she would take no warning, on a day took 
heart at grasse, and belabour 'd her well with a 
cudgel." — Tarlton, News out of Purgatory (1590). 

(c) " your heart is in your hose " (36^ ; 175^), a simile 
of fear or trepidation : modern, " heart in mouth " or 
" shoes." " Be your hearts in your hose? " — 
Thersites, Anon. PL, Ser. 1 (E.E.D.S.), 208a. 

(d) see Eye, Hose. 

Heaven, (a) " she made us cheer heaven high " (60a), 
heartily, " sky-high," " raise the roof." 
(6) see Hell. 
Heavy, see Burden, Hot, Light. 

Hedge, (a) " where the hedge is lowest, men may 
soonest over " (6Sd). " Where hedge is lowe, there 
every man treads downe, And friendship failes, when 
Fortune list to frowne." — Gascoigne, Posies (1575). 
(b) see Stake. 

Heed, " take heed is a fair thing " (88c). 

herring] Note-Book and Word-List 387 

Heels, (a) " show (or take to) a fair pair of heels " 
(ySb), to take flight, run away. " Darest thou be so 
valiant as to play the coward with thy indenture and 
show it a fair pair of heels? " — Shakspeare, 1 Henry 
IV. (1598), ii. 4. 
(b) see Cow, Heart. 

Heinsby (38a), upstart, " nouveau riche " ; a generic 
reproach of any person in an inferior grade of society, 
or of low origin : cf. rudesby = an impertinent. 

Hekst, " when bale is hekst, boot is next " (46c ; 
22$d), things when at worst begin to mend. " When 
bale is greatest, then is bote a nie bore." — Chaucer, 
Testament of Love. 

Hell, (a) " uphill to heavenward, downhill to hell " 
(2 74 d). 

(b) " they that be in hell ween there is none other 
heaven " (40a). 

Hen, (a) " as nice as a nun's hen " (52c), a very ancient 
proverbial simile : ? nun = (a) a variety of pigeon 
having its head almost covered with a veil of feathers ; 
(b) the smew ; or (c) the blue titmouse — most likely 
the last. " Women, women, love of women, Make 
bare purs with some men. Some be nyse as a nonne 
hene, Yet al thei be not soo ; Some be lewde, some 
all be schrewde, Go schrewes wher thei goo." — 
Satirical Verses on Women (1462). " I have the 
taught dyvysyon between Frende of effect, and frende 
of countenaunce ; The nedeth not the gall of none hen 
That cureth eyen." — Lydgate, Proverbes (c. 1520). 
" I kncwe a priest that was as nice as a Nonnes 
Henne." — Wilson, Arte of Rhetorique (1562). 
(b) see Cockney. 

Hept, " this hall hept with gold " (36a), heaped. 

Herbengers, " their horses be their herbengers " (119(f), 
harbinger : properly herberger, or herbcrgeour, origin- 
ally one who not only announced the approaching 
arrival of a guest, but who made all ready for his 
reception ; hence a messenger. 

Here, see Some. 

Hereafter, " though hereafter come not yit " (82a). 

Herring, see Fish. 

C C 2 

388 Note-Book and Word-List [hew 

Hew, " hew not too high lest the chips fall in thine 
eye " (82a). " For an old proverbe it is ledged ' he 
that heweth to hie, with chips he may lose his sight.' " 
— Chaucer, Testament of Love. 

Heywood (John), see Terminal Essay, Vol. III. 

High, (a) " not too high for the pye, nor too low for 
the crow " (82a; 2146). 
(6) see Hew. 

(c) " her heart is full high when her eye is full 
low " (28a). 

(d) " high in t' instep " (216a), haughty, proud, 
arrogant. " Now the gentleman was growne higher 
in the instep, as appeared by the insolent conditions 
he required." — Moryson, Itin. (1617), 11. 26. 

Hilt, " I will as soon be hilt " (44c), probably 
= cudgelled : hilt = cudgel. 

Hip, " then have ye him on the hip or on the hurdle " 
(71&), at an advantage : probably from hunting 
(Nares) ; the hurdle in old law was a frame or sledge 
on which criminals were drawn from the prison to the 
place of execution, and designed to preserve the 
offender from the extreme torment of being dragged 
on the ground. " I'll have our Michael Cassio on 
the hip." — Shakspeare, Othello (1602), ii. 7. 

Ho, " to whom God bade Ho ! " (39^), originally a call 
or exclamation ; hence a stop or limit, and whence 
many idioms — out of all ho = out of all bounds; no ho 
with him = not to be restrained; Let us ho = stop. 
" Howbeit they would not crie hoa here, but sent in 
post some of their covent to Rome? " — Stanihurst, 
Description of Ireland, 26. 

Hoddypeak (12 ic), fool, craven : a generic reproach. 
" They counte peace to be cause of ydelnes, and that 
it maketh men hodipekes and cowardes." — Christo- 
pherson, Exh. against Rebel (1554). 

Hog, (a) " routing like a hog " (30a), rout = snore. 
" Hark, my pygg, how the knave dooth rowte ! Well, 
whyle he sleepth in Idlenes lappe, Idlenes marke on 
hym shall I cappe." — Wit and Science (E.E.D.S., 
Anon. PI. Ser. 4). 

hood] Note-Book and Word-List 389 

(b) " every man basteth the fat hog, but the lean 
shall burn ere he basted be " (46a; 225c and d). 

(c) " cast precious stones before hogs " (93a ; i82d), a 
variant of " to cast pearls before swine." 

Hogstown (293a), ? Hoxton : play on hog ( = churl, 
clown) in connection with place names was common. 
The classical instance is, " I think thou wast born 
at Hogs-Norton (a village in Oxfordshire, and pro- 
perly Hoch, or High Norton, neighbouring towns or 
hamlets being Chipping Norton, Over Norton, &c.) 
where pigs play upon the organs," and applied to 
clownish behaviour. Then " over a Hogsdon cask " 
( = hurriedly, unceremoniously) ; " a hog in armour " 
(of a rustic or lout in fine apparel); " hog-rabbler " 
( = a churl, clown, clodhopper); " hog-in-togs " ( = a 
well-dressed loafer : American ; cf. " hog in armour ") ; 
" hog-age " ( = hobbledehoyhood) ; " hog-grubber " ( = 
a niggard) ; and so forth. 

Hold, (a) " hold fast when ye have it " (29c ; 226^), 
" sit tight," " freeze on to." 

(6) " hold ye fast . . , lest ye be cast " (64b). 

(c) " who may hold that will away " (75<2). 

(d) [She will] "let fall her hold [rather] than be 
too bold " (646). 

(e) see Hare, Nose, Shoe. 

Hole, see Day. 

Holy day, (a) " this gear was gotten on a holy day " 

(b) " he laid her up for holy days " (100c). 

Home, (a) " home is homely though it be poor " (11b ; 

(b) " thou gossipest at home to meet me at land's 
end " (83a). 

Honesty, " the flower of honesty " (28b), cf. " flower 
of chivalry," " flower of the flock," &c. 

Honey, " where words seemed honey . . . now are 
they mustard " (54b). 

Honey moon, " it was yet but honey moon " (17c). 

Hood, (a) " by my hood " (io2d), formerly, as now, the 

39° Note-Book and Word-List [hook 

commonest as well as the most sacred things were 
convenient pegs upon which to hang a " cussword." 
(6) see Bean, Chickens, Ear, Face. 

Hook, (a) " avale, unhappy hook " (44a), adieu : hook = 
a term of reproach, here equivalent to " miserable 
failure." "That unhappy hook." — Heywood, Works 
(E.E.D.S.), I., 26c and 35^. 

(6) " by hook or crook " (44a), by some means 
or other, by fair means or foul, at all hazards : a 
term derived from old forestry. " Nor will suffer this 
boke, By hooke or by crooke, Prynted for to be." — 
Skelton, Colin Clout (1520). " Dynmure Wood was 
ever open and common to the . . . inhabitants of 
Bodmin ... to bear away upon their backs a burden 
of lop, crop, hook, crook, and bag wood." — Bodmin 
Register (1525). 

(c) see Cross. 

Hop-on-my-thumb, " it is a small hop on my thumb " 
(31b), a small, insignificant person : in derision. 
" Plain friend hop o' my thumb, know you who we 
are? " — Shakspeare, Taming of the Shrew (1593). 

Hoppeth, " when wooers hop in and out, long time 
may bring him that hoppeth best at last to have 
the ring " (9a). 

Horns, see Cow. 

Horn wood (99c), i.e. horn-mad, stark staring mad, 
originally because cuckolded ; see Wood. " Sure my 
mistress is horn-mad." — Shakspeare, Comedy of Errors 
(1593), ii. 1. 

Horologe, see Devil. 

Horsadown (291b), ? Horsleydown. 

Horse, (a) " rub a galled horse on the back and he 
will kick " (196c), see next entry. 

(b) " I rub the galled horse back till he winch " 
(84c), winch = wince. 

(c) "a scald horse is good enough for a scabb'd 
squire " (40b), i.e. like to like ; a mangy screw is 
good enough for a disreputable rider : " scald " and 
11 scabb'd " are synonymous, and both are used in 
contempt of anything shabby, disgusting, or paltry. 
" Like lettuce like lips, a scabb'd horse for a scald 
squire." — New Custom, Anon. PI., Ser. 1 (E.E.D.S.), 

horse] Note-Book and Word-List 391 

174^. In the Epigrams (200c), the identity of 
" scald " and " scabb'd " is shown by the wording 
of the proverb being reversed. 

(d) " a short horse is soon curried " (236; 174c). 

(e) " a man may well lead a horse to the water, but 
he cannot make him drink" (33a; 175b). 

(/) "a good horse that never stumbleth " (20a ; 
187a). " A good horse that trippeth not once in a 
journey." — Three Proper and Wittie Familiar Letters 

(g) " some man may steal a horse better than some 
other may stand and look " (91^; 203a). " Good Epi, 
let mee take a nap ; for as some man may better 
steale a horse then another looke over a hedge ; so 
divers shall be sleepie when they would fainest take 
rest." — Lyly, Endimion (1591). 

(h) "it is ... a proud horse that will not bear 
his own provender " (98b). " Sir, hee's a proud horse 
that will not carry his own provander, I warrant yee." 
— Porter, Two Angry Women of Abingdon (1599). 

(i) " recover the horse, or lese the saddle too " 


(/) " no man ought to look a given horse in the 
mouth " (13c). " A gyven hors may not be loked in 
the tethe." — Vulgaria Stambrigi (c. 1510). " It is 
certainly as old as Jerome, a Latin father of the fourth 
century ; who when found fault with . . . quoted the 
proverb, that it did not behove to look a gift horse 
in the mouth." — Trench, Proverbs and their Lessons. 

(k) " as shortly as a horse will lick his ear " (93d). 

(1) " it would have made a horse break his halter " 

(m) " God have mercy, horse " (78c), i.e. God help 
us; according to Tarlton's Jests (161 1), this arose from 
an adventure of Richard Tarlton, the player, with 
Banks's performing horse, Morocco, the phrase being 
a retort that tickled the ears of the assembled crowd 
and " caught on." 

(n) " the grey mare is the better horse " (64a), the 
wife is master : a tradition, perhaps, of the time when 
priests were forbidden to carry arms or ride on a 
male horse : Non enim licuerate pontificem sacrorum 
vel arma ferre, vel praeter quam in equud equitare. — 
Beda, Hist, Eccl. ii. 13. Cf. Fr. Mariage d'e'pervier = a 

392 Note-Book and Word-List [horse loaves 

hawk's marriage ; the female hawk being the larger 
and stronger bird. Lord Macaulay's explanation (pre- 
ference given to the grey mares of Flanders over the 
finest coach horses of England) is the merest guess- 
work. " What ! shall the graye may re be the better 
horse, And the wanton styll at home? " — Pryde and 
Abuse of Women Now a Dayes (c. 1550). 

(o) " evermore the common horse is worst shod " 
(42a), cf4 " the shoemaker's wife is worst shod." 

(p) " folk call on the horse that will carry alway " 
(42a), in modern phrase, " the willing horse is always 
most ridden." 

(q) " as wholesome a morsel for my comely corse 
as a shoulder of mutton for a sick horse " (85a), 
utterly worthless, distasteful. " Counsel to him is as 
good as a shoulder of mutton to a sick horse." — 
Jonson, Every Man in his Humour (1596), ii. 1. 

(r) see Cart, Colt, Galled, Grass. 

Horse loaves, " as high as two horse loaves her person 
is " (24c), a jocular standard of measurement (some- 
times three horse loaves) : compare the phrase, still 
current, which says that diminutive persons must 
stand on three penny loaves to look over the back of 
a goat, or a duck. The horse-loaf was made of beans 
and wheat. " Her stature scant three horse loaves 
did exceed." — Harington, Ariosto. 

Horse plum, " purple ruddy like a horse plum " (24c), 
horse, a generic qualificative = coarse, large. 

Hose, "your heart is in your hose" (36^; 173d). 
" Primus Pastor. Breck outt youre voce, yet se as ye 
yelp. Tercius Pastor. I may not for the pose bot I 
have help. Secundus Pastor. A, thy hert is in thy 
hose." — Towneley Mysteries (c. 1430). 

Host, see Oste, Reckoners. 

Hot, (a) " hot love soon cold " (6d). " Dowghter, in 
this I can thinke none oother But that it is true thys 
proverbe old, Hastye love is soone hot and soone 
cold ! " — Wyt and Science (c. 1540), Anon. PL, Ser. 4. 
(b) '* when th' iron is hot, strike " (8c), act at the 
right moment, seize an opportunity. Fr. " Messieurs, 
ce pendant que le fer est chauld il le fault battre " 

hunger] Note-Book and Word-List 393 

(Rabelais, n. 31). " Birdlime. Strike whilst the iron 
is hot. A woman, when there be roses in her 
cheeks, cherries on her lips, civet in her breath, 
ivory in her teeth, lilies in her hand, and liquorice in 
her heart, why, she's like a play : if new, very good 
company ; but if stale, like old Jeronimo, go by, go 
by, therefore, as I said before, strike." — Webster, 
Westward Ho (1607). See Iron. 

(c) " little pot soon hot," see Pot. 

(d) " neither too heavy nor too hot " (48b). 

(e) " soon hot, soon cold " (88b). 

Hound, see Hare. 

Hour, see Happeth. 

House, (a) " a man may love his house well though he 
ride not on the ridge " (61a). 
(b) see Mend. 

Houseband (281c), husband : originally the head or 
master of a house ; also a farmer, tiller of the soil. 

Householders, see Wishers. 

Housewife, " a clean-fingered housewife and an idle " 
(26c), i.e. if a mistress does her duty she cannot ever 
have clean hands. 

Hum, " bearers of the hum " (2476), old, mellow, and 
very strong ale. " Hum, Meath, and Obarni." — Jon- 
son, Devil's an Ass (1616), 1. 1. 

Hundred, " what ye won in the hundred ye lost in the 
shire " (926), hundred = a division of a county in 
England, supposed to be named from originally con- 
taining one hundred families of freemen. 

Hunger, (a) " hunger droppeth even out of both their 
noses " (39^ ; 20yd). 

(b) " hunger pierceth stone wall " (47a). " They 
said, they were an-hungry ; sigh'd forth proverbs; — 
That, hunger broke stone walls ; that, dogs must eat ; 
That, meat was made for mouths ; that, the gods sent 
not corn for the rich man only." — Shakspeare, Corio- 
lanus (1610), i. 1. 

(c) " hunger maketh hard beans sweet " (29b), cf. 
11 hunger is the best sauce." 

(d) " they must hunger in frost that will not work 
in heat " (34**). 

394 Note-Book and Word-List [hungry 

Hungry, (a) see Dogs, Flies. 

(b) " two hungry meals made the third a glutton " 

Hunter, " close hunting the good hunter alloweth " 


Husbands, " husbands are in heaven whose wives scold 
not " (85c). 

Huswife (25a), primarily a housewife : whence (a) 
domestic servant ; (b) a wanton or a gad-about wench ; 
and (c) a comic endearment. Hence, too, " house- 
wifery " and " housewife's tricks " = the habit of 
wantonness. " A gude husy-wife ay rinning in the 
toun." — Gawain and Gologras, " Ballade " (1508), 
Pinkerton, Scottish Poems (1792), iii. " Half lost for 
lack of a good huswife's looking to." — Puttenham, 
English Poesie (1589), ii. 16 (ed. Arber, 148). " Hus- 
wife, I'll have you whipped for slandering me." — 
Look About You (1600), sc. 28 (Dodsley, Old Plays, 
4th ed., 1875, vii. 476). 

Ich, " Ich said " (136b), I. 

Ignorancy, " cometh not of ignorancy " (73b), ignor- 
ance. " Rocked in blyndnes and ignorauncy." — Tyn- 
dall, Workes, 157. 

Iles, see Out isles. 

Ill, (a) " from ill to worse and worse " (89a), the 
modern version is " bad to worse." 

(b) "of two ills choose the least" (i2d ; 2nd). 
11 Of harmes two the lesse is for to cheese." — 
Chaucer, Troilus and Creseide. 

(c) " turn ... ill beginning to a good end " (89c). 

(d) " ill believed and worse hard " (916). 

(e) " they that think none ill are soonest beguiled " 

(/) "all be not a-bed that shall have ill rest " (86d). 
(g) " an ill wind that bloweth no man to good " 
(93c; 183a). 

(h) see Dagger, Dog, Fishing, Run, Stake, Weed. 

Illgotten, " ill gotten, ill spent " (190^), cf. " lightly 
come, lightly go." 

issues] Note-Book and Word-List 395 

Importable, " may grow importable " (82b), unendur- 
able, insupportable. " Beware of the importable bur- 
dens of the high-mynded pharisees." — Bale, English 
Votaries, pt. i. 

In, " in by the week " (84b ; ij6d). 

Inch, (a) " as good is an inch as an ell " (95c), ell = 
a cloth measure (in England 45 inches) : cf. " it is the 
first step that counts." 

(b) " when I gave you an inch ye took an ell, till 
both ell and inch be gone " (95c), see supra (a). 

(c) " better an inch of your will than an ell of your 
thrift " (95b), see supra (a). 

(d) " an inch breaketh no square " (167*2 ; 168a). 

(e) " may I be holp forth an inch at a pinch " (95c). 

Inde, see Cock. 

Inions, " ropes of inions " (281a), now vulgar. It 
occurs also in Hey wood's Spider and the Fly 
(E.E.D.S., Works, III.) : " Not worth an inion." 

Ink, " ink is all black and hath an ill smack, No man 
will it drink or eat " (63a). 

Inn, " take mine ease in mine inn " (i2d ; 171^), enjoy 
oneself as if one were at home. " Shall I not take 
mine ease in mine inn, but I shall have my pocket 
picked? " — Shakspeare, 1 Henry IV. (1598), iii. 3. 

Inowe (passim), enough. 

Instep, "high in th' instep" (37 d ; 216a), haughty, 
proud. " The gentleman was grown higher in the 
instep, as appeared by the insolent conditions he re- 
quired." — Moryson, Itin. (1617), ii. 26. " He was 
too high in the instep to wear another man's shoes." 
— Fuller, Holy War (1639), n - v "i- C 10 ^), 53- 

Iron, " when the iron is hot strike " (8c; 221c), act at 
the appropriate time. " Right so as while that iron 
is hot, men should strike." — Chaucer, Melib. (c. 1386), 
70. See Hot. 

Issues, " lost'st a mark in issues " (279c), issues = 
fines; mark = money of account, value 13s. 4d. : as a 
coin it was never used in England, though in Scotland 
marks were current in the 15th and 16th centuries. 

396 Note-Book and Word-List [itch 

Itch, " itch and ease can no man please " (62b). 

Itching, " he whom in itching no scratching will for- 
bear, he must bear the smarting that shall follow 
there" (28c). 

Itcheth, see Claw. 

Iwys (passim), certainly, indeed, truly : often no more 
than a metrical tag. 

Jack, (a) "jack out of office" (58^; 213c), one dis- 
missed or out of employment. " For liberalitie is 
tourned Jacke out of office, and others appointed to 
have the custodie." — Rich, Farewell to Militarie 
Profession (1581). 

(b) "all . . . well, Jack shall have Jill" (58c; 
I 69&), Jack and Jill (or Gill) are generic for " man " 
and " woman " : specifically of the common people. 
" For Jok nor for Gyll will I turne my face." — 
Towneley Myst. (c. 1460), iii. 336. 

(c) " I have been common Jack to all that whole 
flock " (41^), in disparagement; i.e. at everyone's beck 
and call : cf. " a twangling jack " (Taming of the 
Shrew), and " silken, sly, insinuating jacks " 
(Richard III.). 

(d) see Gentleman. 

Jerman, " just as Jerman's lips " (56b). M As just as 
German's lips, which came not together by nine 
mile." — Latimer, Remaines. "Agree like Dogge and 
Catte, and meete as just as German's lippes." — Gosson, 
Schole of Abuse. 

Jests, " such jests could not juggle her were ought 
amiss " (88a). 

Jesting, " it is ill jesting on the sooth " (88a), i.e. true 
jesting is no jest at all : sooth = truth. 

Jet, subs, and verb (passim), strut, swagger, pose. " O 
peace ! Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock of 
him ; how he jets under his advanc'd plumes ! " — 
Shakspeare, Twelfth Night'(i6o2), ii. 5. 

Jis, " by Jis " (136&), Jesus : a common contraction. 

Joan (or Jone), " ye should have none for Jone " (96c), 
Joan = a generic name for a female rustic. " Some 
men must love my lady, and some Joan." — Shak- 
speare, Love's Labour's Lost (1588), iii. 1. 207. 

kill] Note- Book and Word-List 397 

John-a-droin (293a), the exact meaning is unknown : 
another example is found in Nash (Saffron Walden 
P j b). — " That poor Iohn a Droynes his man, ... a 
great big-board thresher." 

John Drawlatch (88c), a thief ; also idle fellow, loafer, 
ne'er-do-well. " Well, phisitian, attend in my cham- 
ber heere, till Stilt and I returne ; and if I pepper 
him not, say I am not worthy to be cald a duke, but 
a drawlatch." — Chettle, Hoffman (1602). 

John Long the Carrier (2546), proverbial for delay and 

Joy, (a) " for one month's joy, to bring her whole life's 
sorrow " (27c), in allusion to the honeymoon. 
(6) " poverty brought that joy to joyfail " (100c). 
(c) " with all your joy join all your jeopardy " 
Joyfail, " poverty brought that joy to joyfail " (100c), 

joyfail = a nonce word intended as a pun. 
Judge, see Blind, Hear. 

Judicare, " to know how Judicare came into the 
Creed " (20&). 

Ka, " ka me, ka thee " (41c), a phrase implying mutual 
help, service, flattery and the like; to " logroll." 

Kay, see Key. 

Keep, see Three, Wise. 

Key, (a) " cold as a kay " (54b), as cold as may be, 
spec, cold as in death: usually "key-cold." "With 
quaikard voce and hart cald as a key." — Douglas, 
Pal. Hon. (1501), 674. 

(b) " the keys hang not all by one man's girdle " 
(37a; 216c). 

Kibed, " kibed heels . . . kibed hearts " (175b), kibed 
heels = heels affected with chilblains. " No wonder 
yf he halted, for kybed were his helys." — How Plow- 
man Learned Pater-Noster (c. 1500). 

Kick, see Horse, Wall. 

Kid, " a piece of a kid is worth two of a cat " (86a). 

Kill, see Mustard. 

398 Note-Book and Word-List [kind 

Kind, " kind will creep where it may not go " (33c), 
kind = human nature, kinship. " He . . . rode in 
poste to his kynsman . . . verefiying the old pro- 
verbe : kynne will crepe, where it male not go." — 
Hall, Chron. (c. 1548), Edw. IV., 190. " Ay, gentle 
Thurio ; for you know that love Will creep in service 
when it cannot go." — Shakspeare, Two Gentlemen of 
Verona (1595), iv. 2. 

King, see Cat, Nothing. 

Kinsfolk, "many kinsfolk, few friends" (45^; 218b). 

Kirtle, " though nigh be my kirtle yet near is my 
smock " (28^), hirtle — originally a man's garment 
reaching to the knees or lower, sometimes the only 
body garment, but more usually worn with a shirt (or 
smock) beneath, and a cloak or mantle above ; also 
(as here) a woman's gown : both forms became archaic 
long since. " Beside, there is a antiquitie a proverb 
no lesse practised then common, which is, Nearer 
unto mee is my shirt then my coate ; by following of 
which, every man commonly loveth his owne profit 
more than others." — The Contention betweene Three 
Brethren; the Whore-monger, the Drunkard, and the 
Dice Player (1608). Near = nearer. 

Kiss, (a) " many kiss the child for the nurse's sake " 

(8 4 d). 

(b) " how can she give a kiss, sour or sweet? Her 

chin and her nose within half an inch meet " (53a). 

Kissed, see Cow. 

Kit Callot (29c). Kit Callot and Giles Hather are 
said to have been the first English persons who took 
up the occupation of gipsies (Sharman) : hence calot 
(callet, calot, calet, or caillot) = a scold, infamous 
woman : a generic term of abuse. " Gogs bread ! 
and thinkes the callet thus to keep the neele me 
fro." — Gammer Gurtons Needle (1560). 

Kite, see Leg. 

Knacks, " such knacks in her bouget " (75b), see 
Bouget. Knacks = tricks, fancies, "bees in bonnet." 

Knappish, " I am knappish to see " (244(f), rude, 
vexed, testy. " A certaine saucie or knappishe young 
springall." — Udall, Erasmus Apoph. (1542), 165 (1877). 

knuckleboneyard] Note-Book and Word-List 399 

Knave, (a) " two false knaves need no broker " (35^ ; 
175^), broker — a go-between. " Some will say, A 
crafty knave need no broker, But here's a craftie 
knave and a broker too." — Knacke to Knowe a Knave 
(1594). " As two false knaves need no Broker, for 
they can easily enough agree in wickednesse . . . 
so among true and faithfull men, there need no 
others." — A Sword against Swearers (161 1). 

(b) " an old knave is no child " (58a), see infra. 
" Thus the English proverb saith, No knave to the 
learned knave." — Moryson, ltin. (1627), iii. 5. 

(c) " an old knave is no babe " (198a), see supra. 

(d) " the one knave now croucheth while th' other 
craveth " (36a). 

(e) " it is merry when knaves meet " (35^). " No 
more of Cocke now I wryte, But mery it is when 
knaves done mete." — Cocke Lorelles Bote (c. 1510). 
" Merrie meeting? why that Title is stale. There's 
a Boke cald Tis merry when knaves meete, and 
there's a Ballad Tis merry when Malt-men meete ; 
and besides there's an old Proverbe The more the 
merrier." — Samuel Rowlands, Tis Merrie when Gos- 
sips meete (1602). 

(/) " the more knaves the worse company " (36a). 

Knot, " mark this knot " (138^), problem, point, gist 
of a matter. " The knotte why J)at every tale is 
toold." — Chaucer, Cant. Tales (c. 1386), Sq. Tale, 

Know, see Bag. 

Knoweth, see Good. 

Knowledge, " I know and knowledge " (26a), own, 
acknowledge, confess. " They knowledge thee to be 
the Father of an infinite majesty." — Goodly Primer 
(1535), 82 (1834). 

Known, see Friend. 

Knuckleboneyard, " he is a knuckleboneyard " (40b), a 
clumsy fellow. " A knokylbonyarde wyll counterfete 
a clarke, He wolde trotte gentylly, but he is to 
stark." — Skelton, Magn. (1526), 485. 

4QO Note-Book and Word-List [kyx 

Kyx, " light as a kyx " (135a), a dry hollow stalk : 
also "kex." 

Labour, " ye shall never labour younger " (21c), be- 
come, grow : cf. to labour on = to go on. 

Laboureth, " reason laboureth will " (13b), cultivates. 

Lack, (a) " lack is the loss of these two young fools " 

(b) '* no lack to lack a wife " (103a). 

(c) " ye had been lost to lack your lust " (32c), 
lust = wish, desire. 

(d) see Love. 

Lady, " there is nothing that agree 'th worse than doth a 
lady's heart and a beggar's purse " (27b). 

Laid, see Water. 

Lamb, " look like a lamb " (91c). 

Lambskin, (a) " as soon goeth the young lamb's skin to 
the market as th' old ewe's " (60c). "It is a com- 
mon saying, there do come as many skins of calves 
to the market as there do of bulls or kine. " — Barclay, 
Ship of Fools (1509). 

(6) " a lambskin ... to lap her in " (76c), i.e. 
beat, trounce her: lambskin = stroke, blow; lap = 
coil, wind round, wrap up (cf. " The Wife Lapped in 
Morelles Skin," Earl. Pop. Poet., iv. 179). " And 
because therof, I did give her three or four lamb- 
skines with the yerd. Thou servedst her well ynough, 
said he." — MS. Ashmol., 208. 

Lap, see Lambskin (b). 

Lark, see Leg, Sky. 

Larum (a) (78b), hubbub, uproar. " Then the crye and 
larum began." — Berners, Huon (c. 1533), cxxix. 472. 
(b) see Ringeth. 

Last, " he that cometh last make all fast " (210b). 

Late, (a) " better late than never " (26b ; 22yd). " Far 
bet than never is late." — Chaucer, Can. Yeom. Prol. 
and T. (c. 1386), 857. Also in Tusser's Five Hun- 
dred Points of Good Husbandry. 

(b) " too late . . . repentance shewed is " (26b). 

least] Note-Book and Word-List 401 

Laugh, " they laugh that win " (i2d and 215b and c), 
the adage occurs in various forms : " they win that 
laugh"; "they laugh best that laugh last"; "give 
losers leave to talk," &c. " Give loosers leave to 
talke : it is no matter what sic probo and his penni- 
lesse companions prate, whilst we have the gold in 
our coffers." — Nash, Pierce Penilesse (1592). " Let 
them laugh that win the prize." — May, Heir (1622), 
iii. 1. See Laughter and Win. 

Laughed, see Sleeve. 

Laughing, " from laughing to lowering " (54c). 

Laughter, " better is the last smile then the first 
laughter " (94^), see Laugh. 

Law, see Need. 

Lawn, " he that will sell lawn before he can fold it, he 
shall repent him before he have sold it " (19b). 
Another " lawn " proverb says, " No piece of lawn so 
pure but hath some fret " (Barnefield, Pecunia, 1598, 

Lay, (a) " reason for reason ye so stiffly lay by proverb 
for proverb " (14^), " cap " by, compare with. " They 
conferre the one with the other, and lay them with the 
lawe." — Tr. Bullinger's Decades (1577), II. viii. 192. 

(b) " the trial thereof we will lay a water till we 
try more " (10a), put aside, defer judgment concern- 
ing, render nugatory : see Water. " If he had broke 
his arme . . . either Apollo must have played Bone- 
setter, or every occupation beene laide a water." — 
Gosson, Schoole of Abuse (1579). 

Lead, see Horse. 

Leaf, " she will turn the leaf " (64b), adopt a different 
line of conduct : now, always in a good sense. " He 
must turn the leaf and take out a new lesson." — 
Holinshed, Chron. (1577), I. 21, 2. 

Leap, " look or ye leap " (7c; 1686). " He that leaps 
before he look . . . may leap in the mire." — Marr. 
Wit and Science (c. 1570), Anon. Plays (E.E.D.S.), 
Ser. 4. 

Least, see 111. 


402 Note-Book and Word-List [leather 

Leather, " they cut large thongs of other men's 
leather " (66b), cf. " to steal another man's thunder." 
" Men cut large thongs here of other men's leather." 
— Mary Paston, Paston Letters (1460), III. 372. 
" D'autrui cuir font large curoie. " — C'est li Manages 
des Filles au Dyable, MS. (c. 1300). 

Leave, (a) " leave it or it leave you " (224b). 

(b) " better leave than lack " (12c). " A worthy 
work (wherein the Reader may rather leave then 
lack)." — Fuller, Holy and Prof. State (1642), iv. 
xiv. 310. 

(c) " leave is light " (25a ; 194c and d). 

Lectour, " a wiser lectour " (84a), a college or university 
" reader " or lecturer. 

Leg, (a) " while the leg warmeth the boot harmeth " 

(6) "a leg of a lark is better than is the body of a 
kite " (nb). " Gyrtrude. I would not change hus- 
bands with my sister; I. 'The legge of a larke is 
better than the body of a kite.' Mistress Touchstone. 

Know that ; but Gyrtrude. What, sweet mother, 

what? Mistress Touchstone. It's but ill food when 
nothing's left but the claw." — Chapman, Marston, 
and Jonson, Eastward Hoe (1605). 

(c) " in house to keep household, when folks will 
needs wed, mo things belong than four bare legs in 
a bed " (19c). " Furthermore it shall be lawful for 
him that marries without money to find four bare 
legs in a bed : and he that is too prodigal in spend- 
ing, shall die a beggar by the statute." — Pennilesse 
Parliament of Threadbare Poets (1608). 

Leman, " as tender as a parson's leman " (26c; 2176), 
mistress, concubine : also a gallant or lover. n They 
founde greater gaines by priestes lemmans then they 
were like to haue by priestes wives." — T. Wilson, 
Rhet. (1553), 28b. 

Length, " yourself to length it taketh direct trade " 
(14c), prolong, lengthen, spin out. " Thought must 
length it." — Daniel, Zethys Festiv. (1610), F. 3b. 

Lese (24c, 39b, 51b, 67c, et passim), lose. 
Less, " who will do less than they that may do most " 

line] Note-Book and Word-List 403 

Let (passim), objections, hindrances. 

Leverings (315c), apparently a verb. subs, from laveer 
= to beat to windward, to tack : obviously, if so, on 
account of the rhyme, and hence the coinage is note- 
worthy. Clarendon (Essays) speaks of schoolmen as 
" the best laveerers in the world." 

Liberty, see Day. 

Libet, " baste ye well with a libet " (286^), a stick to 
beat with, or throw at anything. 

Lick, see Cat, Cook. 

Lie, (a) " lies laid on by load " (78^). 
(b) see Bleed, Children. 

Liever, " had I not liever " (151&), rather. 

Life, " what is life where living is extinct clear? " 

Liger de maine (143a), sleight of hand, jugglery, 


Light, (a) "light come, light go" (93c; 193d; 194a). 
" Wyte thou ,wele it schall be so, That lyghtly cum 
schall lyghtly go." — Debate of the Carpenter's Tools. 

(b) " light gains make heavy purses " (376 ; 1986 
and c). 

(c) " ye stand in your own light " (62c), injure your 
own interests. " Take counsel and do not stand in 
your own light." — Jonson, Tale of a Tub (1633), ii. 1. 

(d) see Burden, Hands, Leave, Lips. 

Like, "like will to like" (11a), a typical proverbial 
formula, with many variants — " like master, like 
man "; " like lord, like chaplain "; " like carpenter, 
like chips"; "like men, like manners," &c. : Ful- 
well's Like Will to Like is the title of an early play. 

Lime-fingered (26c), given to pilfering. " They are 
light-footed and lime-fingered." — Purchas, Pilgrimage 
(1613), VIII. iv. 629. 

Line, (a) " as right as a line " (33d), in a direct course, 
straightforwardly, immediately : also line-right. 
" Streyt as lyne he com." — Chaucer, Troilus (c. 1374), 
II. 1412 (1461). 

D D 2 

404 Note-Book and Word-List [lingel 

(&) " we drew both in one line " (8ob), were unani- 
mous, in complete accord. " The Senat thus drawing 
all in a line." — Holland, Livy (1600), xlii. xxi. 1127. 

Lingel, " without last or lingel " (139c), a shoemaker's 
waxed thread. " The cobler of Caunterburie, armde 
with his aul, his lingel, and his last, presents him- 
selfe a judiciall censor of other mens writinges." — 
The Cobler of Caunterburie (1590). 

Lion, " as fierce as a lion of Cotsolde " (440"), a sheep : 
cf. Essex (or Rumford) lion = a calf. " Carlus is as 
furious as a lyon of Cotsold." — Davies, Epigrams 
(1596). " You stale old ruffian, you lion of Cots- 
olde." — Sir John Oldcastle. 

Lion's bower (315^), the lion as emblematic of the 
sovereign power of England : here of Queen Mary. 

Lips, (a) " such lips, such lettuce " (Sod), like to like. 
" Every lip has its lettuce to himself : the lob has 
his lass, the collier his dowdy, the western-man his 
punk, the student his nun in Whitefriars, the puritan 
his sister, and the lord his lady ; which worshipful 
vocation may fall upon you, if you'll but strike whilst 
the iron is hot." — Webster, Westward Hoe (1607). See 

(b) " your lips hang in your light " (62b), i.e. hang- 
ing your lips in vexation is against your interests. 

(c) see Light. 

Lipwort seed (288^), idle talk, " jaw " : a nonce word. 
List, " which me list " (8a), like, wish, desire. 

Listening, " I have learned in listening " (436), cf. 

" listeners hear no good of themselves." 
Either, (a) "too lither " (48a; also 73c), bad, rascally 


(b) " be he lusty or lither " (242b), ill-conditioned, 


Litter, " the litter is like to the sire and the dam " 

(33 c )i see Like. 
Little, see Nothing, Said. 

Logic, " she choppeth logic " (64b), argues a point, is 
contentious, answers sharply. If he heare you thus 

love] Note-Book and Word-List 405 

play choploge. " — Udall, Roister Doister (E.E.D.S.), 
iii. 2. 

Long, (a) " long be thy legs and short be thy life " (82 <i). 
(b) see Day, Devil, Offering, Stake. 

Longer, see Day. 

Longeth, " that longeth thereto " (34^), is appropriate 
to, that pertains to; often written " 'longeth," as if 
= " belong. " "With such austerity as longeth to a 
father." — Shakspeare, Taming of the Shreiv (1596), 
iv. 4. 6. 

Look, (a) " look or ye leap " (yc), see Leap. 

(b) " look as ye list " (91c), list = like, wish, desire. 

(c) see Cat, Horse, Lamb. 

Lord, (a) " there is no good accord where every man 
would be a lord " (74^). 

(6) " there is nothing in this world that agreeth 
worse than doth a lord's heart and a beggar's purse " 
(174^), see Lady. 

Lorne, " the corn is lorne " (27(f), injured, ruined, 

Lose, (a) " lose both living and love of all their 
kin " (25^). 

(b) see Covet, Nothing. 

Losers, " let the losers have their words " (76b ; 190J). 

Lost, (a) " as good lost as found " (28a). 

(b) " it is lost that is unsought " (38c). 

(c) " like one half lost till greedy grasping gat it " 

Lost'st, " thou lost'st a mark " (279c), a noteworthy 

inflection : see Issues. 
Lothe, "the lothe stake" (6od ; 222a and b), ugly, 


Lough, " his master lough " (137J), laughed. 

Love, (a) " in love is no lack " (lod ; i68d ; 169a). 

(b) " love me, love my dog " (93a ; 182c), a proverb 
in the time of Saint Bernard. " Cudora. Love me? 
— love my dog ! Tharsalis. I am bound to that by the 
proverb, madam." — Chapman, Widow's Tears (1612). 

(c) " love me little, love me long " (576). " Bella- 

406 Note-Book and Word-List [loveday 

mira. Come, gentle Ithamore, lie in my lap. Itha- 
more. Love me little, love me long ; let music rumble, 
Whilst I in thy incony lap do tumble." — Marlowe, Jew 
of Malta (1586), iv. 

(d) " by love, without regard of living, these twain 
have wrought each other ill chieving " (48c). 

(e) " love hath lost them the love of their friends " 
( 4 8d). 

(/) " we could live by love " (10c). 

(g) " lovers live by love ... as larks live by leeks " 

(h) " what need we lump out love " (57a). 
(t) see Hot. 

Loveday, " break a loveday " (69b), an agreement for 
the amicable settlement of a dispute. " He is more 
redy to make a fraye than a loue day." — Horman, 
Vulg. (1519), vii. 66 b. 

Low, see High. 

Mackabroine, " such a mackabroine " (74c), old hag : 
from Fr. machabree ; Murray marks it "rare," and 
gives only the present instance. 

Mad, see Hare. 

Made, see Much, Mocked. 

Maids, see Malkin. 

Maister, " maister promotion saieth " (13a), master. 

Maistry, "use maketh maistry " (55^ ; 219a), gives 

power, skill, the knowledge and experience which 

constitutes a master. 

Make, (a) " make or mar I will " (173c). 

(&) "how flek and his make" (70a), make = com- 
panion. " This is no season To seek new makes in." 
— Jonson, Tale of a Tub (1633), i. 1. 

(c) see Cross, Last, Small, Sorrow. 

Makebate (24a), breeder of strife. " Such a malicious 
makebate." — More, Suppl. Soulys (1529), Wks., 296. 2. 

Maketh, see Havoc, Offering, Use. 

Male, " males and male horses " (258^), male = bag, 
pack : now Scots and American. 

marmasat] Note-Book and Word-List 407 

Malkin, " mo maids but Malkin " (32c ; 200b), 
Malkin ( = Mary) is generic for a woman of low birth, 
country wench, servant : frequently used proverbially 
to signify drab, wanton. " There are more houses 
then Parishe Churches, more maydes than Maulkin. " 
— Gosson, Sch. of Abuses (1597), 37 (Arber). 

Malt, (a) " soft fire maketh sweet malt " (6c), an ad- 
monition to be gentle or merciful : see Fire. 

(6) " malt is above wheat with him " (31a), i.e. 
" he is under the influence of drink." " Malt is now 
aboue wheat with a number of mad people." — Breton, 
Fantastickes (1626), B3. 

Man, see God, Good, Happy, Haste, Hog, Horse, 
Mend, Mustard, Oar, Tide, True, Wind. 

Many, see Hands, Kinsfolk, Small. 

Mar, see Make. 

March hare, " as mad as a March hare " (73a), see 

Mare, (a) " mine old mare would have a new crupper " 

(b) " the grey mare is the better horse " (64a), see 

(c) " well nigh every day a new mare or a moil " 
(81a), mare = a woman (contemptuously); mot7 = mule; 
also contemptuously of a trull, for the sake of the 

(d) see Coy. 

Marjorum gentle (288a). " Marierome is called . . . 
in English Sweete Marierome, Fine Marierome, and 
Marierome gentle; of the best sort Maiorane." — 
Gerarde, Herbal (1597), II. ccvii. 539. 

Mark (279c), see Issues. 

Market, " the market goeth by the market men " (38a), 
i.e. prices, rates of purchase and sale. 

Marks, " yet have ye other marks to rove at hand " 
(37a), rove = to shoot at. 

Marmasat, " a minion marmasat " (141c), of a man = 
a term of abuse or contempt; "ape," "fool," &c. 
Minion apparently = servile, unworthy; as in one sense 
of the subs. 

408 Note-Book and Word-List [marriage 

Marriage, " a goodly marriage she is . . . were the 
woman away " (52a"), i.e. her money is desirable if 
her person is not. 

Marry, " when men will needs marry . . . wisdom and 
haste may vary " (49a). 

Marrying, " marrying or marring " (18c), in slightly 
different guise still proverbial. 

Marybones, " on your marybones crouch to the ground " 
(22a), the knees. " Down he fel vpon his maribones." 
— More, Confut. Tindale (1532), Wks., 727/2. 

Mase, " nother muse nor mase " (135a), mase = per- 
plexity, doubt, abashment. 

Master, see Breech. 

Mastership, " would your mastership " (139a, el 
passim), a respectful address. 

Mastery, see Maistry. 

Mate, " I am mad to see thee mate thy husband M 
(244c), puzzle, browbeat, withstand. 

Matins, " if it be morn we have a pair of matins M 

Matter, see Face, Water. 

Maugre, " maugre her head" (48a), in spite of: Fr., 

May, (a) " that one may not another may " (55(f). 

(b) " he that will not when he may, when he would 
he shall have nay" (8a; 168c), in Burton, Melanch. 

(c) see Catch. 

Meal, see Cow. 

Mealmouth (23d), a person of soft, carneying words, of 
hypocritical delicacy of speech : now surviving ^n 
" mealy-mouthed." 

Meals, " better are meals many than one too merry " 

Measure, (a) " measure is a merry mean " (82a; 191a 
to d; 192a to c), moderation. " Magn. Yet mesure 
is a mery mene. Fan. Yea, syr, a blaunched 
almonde is no bene, Measure is mete for a mar- 

merrier] Note-Book and Word- List 409 

chauntes hall." — Magnyfycence (c. 1520). "There 
is measure in everything." — Shakspeare, Much Ado 
(1600), ii. 1. 

(b) " thou fearest false measures " (178a). 

Meat, (a) " look not on the meat but look on the man " 

(b) " that one loveth not, another doth ; which hath 
sped All meats to be eaten and all maids to be wed " 


(c) see Crabs, Sweet. 

Meddle, see Gosling. 

Meddling, " of little meddling cometh great rest " 
(57^). " Grete reste stande in lytell besynesse, Beware 
also to sporne against a wall." — Lydgate, Proverbes. 

Meet, see Sow. 

Meet-mate (42c), helpmate: cf. meet-help — help-meet, a 
wife. " In my discoveries of him and his meet-help." 
— rSpratt, Relation of Young's Contrivance. 

Melancholy, " turn melancholy to mirth " (88a). 

Melt, see Butter. 

Men, see Blind, Clerks. 

Mend, (a) " if every man mend one, all shall be 
mended " (1676), many hands make light work. 

(6) " I will mend this house and pair another " 
(88a* ; 182a), pair = impair, neglect. " He bulde newe 
citees and amended citees }>at were i-peyred." — 
Trevisa, Higden (Rolls), vi. 399 (1387). 

Merchant, (a) " ye merchant " (31c; also 66c), a fami- 
liar address — " fellow," " chap." " I would have so 
scourged my marchant, that his breech should ake." 
— New Custom (c. 1550), Anon. Plays (E.E.D.S.), 
Ser. 3, 162b. 

(b) " a merchant without either money or ware " 
(66c ; 206a). 

(c) see Dear, Eel-skins. 

Merrier, " the more the merrier " (79c). " Store makes 
no sore : loe this seemes contrarye, And mo the merier 
is. a Proverbe eke, But store of sores maye make a 
maladye, And one to many maketh some to seeke, 

410 Note-Book and Word-List [merry 

When two be mette that bankette with a leche. " — 
Gaiscoigne, Posies (1575). 

Merry, (a) " good to be merry and wise " (6d ; 172*2). 
" I . . . garnished my shop, for want of plate, with 
good wholesome, thriftie sentences ; as, ' Touchstone, 
keepe thy shoppe, and thy shoppe will keepe thee.' 
4 Light gaines make heavie purses.' ' Tis good to be 
merry and wise.' " — Eastward Hoe (1605). 

(b) " merry as a cricket " (31b) — " merry as a pie " 
(60a). " By the Lord of Ludgate, my Liege, I'll be as 
merrie as a Pie." — Decker, Shomakers Holiday (1600). 

(c) "it 'is merry in hall when beards wag all" 
(79<J), see Hall. " Swithe mury hit is in halle When 
burdes wawen alle." — Life of Alexander (13 12). 
" Be merry, be merry, my wife has all ; For women 
are shrews, both short and tall, 'Tis merry in hall 
when beards wag all." — Shakspeare, 2 Henry IV. 
(1598), v. 3. 

(d) see Chip, Measure. 

Mess, (a) " to keep yet one mess ... in store " (89b), 
" put by something for a rainy day." 
(b) see Mustard. 

Messenger, " to come . . . before the messenger " 
(31c), to be " previous," be one's own postman. 

Meve (15c, 59&, 84^, et passim), move. 

Mew, " hawks in the mew " (66b), properly a cage for 
hawks : figuratively a place where anything is in 

Mids, middes (186b), midst : note rhyme with " bids." 

Might, "might overcometh right" (69a; 197c), in 

modern phrase, " might is right." 
Milestone, see Millstone. 

Milk, " milk is white, And lieth not in the dike, But 
all men know it good meat " (62^). 

Mill, " much water goeth by the mill that the miller 
knoweth not of" (73d). "What, man; more water 
glideth by the mill Than wots the miller of, and easy 
it is Of a cut loaf to steal a shive." — Shakspeare, 
Titus Andronicus (1593), ii. 7. 

moil] Note-Book and Word-List 411 

Millstone, " seen far in a millstone " (25^ ; 176c) : 
" to look (or see) into a millstone " = to fathom a 
secret ; to be far or sharp sighted. " Your eies are 
so sharp that you cannot onely looke through- a mil- 
stone, but cleane through the minde, and so cunning 
that you can levell at the dispositions of women whom 
you never knew." — Lyly, Euphues and his England. 

Milner, " the milner tolleth corn " (149&), miller : see 

Mind, see Sight. 

Minion (40&), " a creature " : here a debased sense of 
minion = favourite ; i.e. an unworthy or unseemly 
favourite: also as adj. (1410) = servile, unworthy. 

Minish, Minisheth (99a, 76a), diminish. " To abbridge 
his power, and to minishe his authoritie. " — Hall, 
Henry VI. f. 81. 

Mire, " lay my credence in the mire " (57**), compare 
" to drag one's reputation through the mud." 

Miscellanies, see Terminal Essay, Heywood's Works 
(E.E.D.S.), in. 

Misery, " misery may be mother where one beggar is 
driven to beg of another " (100a). 

Misreckoning, " misreckoning is no payment" (64^; 


Missed, see Cushion. 

Mo (12c, 19a), more. 

Mock, " he mocked much of her " (53c), feigned, pre- 
tended to make. " He mocks the pauses that he 
makes." — Shakspeare, Antony and Cleopatra (1608), 
v. 1. 

Mockage, " half in mockage " (25c), mocking. " But 
all this perchaunce ye were I speake half in moccage. *' 
— Sir Tnos. Chaloner, Morice Enc. (1549), M 3. 

Moil, " moils of velvet . . . moil men — to see asses 
go on moils " (292^), moil = (a) a sort of high shoe, 
formerly worn by persons of quality ; (b) a lawyer 
of eminence : judges and sergeants, says Nares, rode 
to Westminster Hall on mules ; (c) a mule — the fol- 
lowing examples illustrate the different senses. 

412 Note-Book and Word-List [molt 

" They drewe owt of dromondaries dyverse lordes, 
Moyllez mylke whitte, and mervaillous bestez." — 
Morte Arthure, MS. Lincoln, f. 77. " Well, make 
much of him ; I see he was never born to ride upon 
a moyle." — Jonson, Every M. out of H. (1599), ii. 3. 

Molt, " my heart for woe molt " (91a), melted : an old 

Money, see Merchant. 

Monk, " like a bean in a monk's hood " (76c ; 204a), 
lost, like a nonentity : bean = a low standard of value. 

Month, " better is one month's cheer than a churl's 
whole life " (84a) : cf. Tennyson's " better fifty years 
of Europe than a cycle of Cathay." 

Moon, (a) " to cast beyond the moon " (nc; 207c and 
d), to calculate deeply ; make an extravagant conjec- 
ture ; be ambitious; to attempt impossibilities. " But 
Oh, I talk of things impossible And cast beyond the 
moon." — T. Hey wood, A Woman KilVd with Kind- 
ness (c. 1603). 

(b) " to make me believe . . . that the moon is 
made of a green cheese " (84^), to hoax, quiz, " chaff." 
" Whilst they tell for truthe Luther his lowde lyes, 
so that they may make theyr blinde brotherhode and 
the ignorant sort beleve that the mone is made of 
grene chese." — Shacklock, Hatchet of Heresies (1565). 

Moonshine, " moonshine in the water " (44c ; 22od), 
an illusive shadow. 

Mop, see Cony mop. 

More, " for little more or less no debate make " (68d), 
trouble not about trifles ; seek not to enforce a differ- 
ence between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. 

Mornings, " cloudy mornings turn to clear afternoons " 

Mortimer, see Backare. 

Moss, see Rolling stone. 

Mote, (a) " ye can see a mote in another man's eye, 
but ye cannot see a balk in your own " (81a), 
baife = beam, rafter. 

(b) " so mote I thee " (137c/), i.e. " so may I 

nail] Note-Book and Word-List 413 

Mother, " your mother bid till ye were born " (98a). 
Mouse, (a) "as sure as ... a mouse tied with a thread " 

(b) " a mouse in time may bite a-two a cable " 
(82 b). 

(c) " it had need to be a wily mouse that should 
breed in the cat's ear " (7id). 

(d) see Cat. 

Mouth, (a) " that shall not stop my mouth " (64c ; 
213b), silence me. 

(b) " to make up my mouth " (43c), i.e. to give cause 
for arranging the features to produce a particular ex- 
pression ; cf. " make up a face," " make up a lip," 
&c. ; thus to induce a grimace or wry face : now Ame- 
rican by survival. " Make up your face [to a weeping 
person] quickly." — Brome, Jovial Crew (1641), iv. 1. 

(c) " ye speak now as ye would creep into my 
mouth " (94c). 

(d) " till meat fall in your mouth will ye lie in bed " 

(e) see Butter, Horse. 

Much, " she made much of him and he mocked much of 
her " (53c), see Mocked. 

Muck, " muck of the world " (44c), money. " For to 
pinche, and for to spare, Of worlds mucke to gette 
encres." — Gower, Confessio Amantis, v. 

Mum, " I will say nought but mum, and mum is coun- 
sel " (65b; 2136; 214c), mum = a warning to silence. 

Must, see Blab. 

Mustard, " he will kill a man for a mess of mustard " 

Nail, (a) " one nail driveth out another " (188b). 

(b) " this hitteth the nail on the head " (loid), to 
get at the bottom of a matter, to succeed, to come to 
the point. In Sir Thomas More (c. 1590), " my lord 
Cardinal's players, in answer to the question as to 
what pieces compose their repertory, reply : — Divers, 
my Lord, The Cradle of Security, Hit Nail o' th' 
Head, Impatient Poverty, The Play of Four P's, 

414 Note-Book and Word-List [naked boy 

Dives and Lazarus, Lusty Juventus, and the Marriage 
of Wit and Wisdom." 
(c) see Paring. 

Naked boy (299^), the minute reflection of one gazing 
into another's eye : hence to look a naked boy (or 
babies) in the eyes — to look amorously. " But O, 
see, see we need enquire no further, Upon your lips 
the scarlet drops are found, And in your eye the boy 
that did the murder. . . . See where little Cupid 
lies Looking babies in the eyes." — Drayton, Idea 
(1594), 2. " In each of her two crystal eyes Smileth 
a naked boy ; It would you all in heart suffice To 
see that lamp of joy." — Ellis, Specimen Eng. 
Romances, 7. " Joy had the like conception in our 
eyes, And, at that instant, like a babe sprung up." — 
Shakspeare, Timon of Athens (1609), i. 2. 

Nat (148&, et passim), not : note the rhymes. 

Nay, (a) " say nay and take it " (214a and b) : another 
version is, " Maids say ' No ' and mean ' Yes.' " 

(b) " ye may mend three nays with one yea " (35c?). 

(c) see Will. 

Ne (passim), not, nor : frequently in M.E. joined with 
the verbs " to have," " to be," and " to will " : thus, 
nam = ne am = am not, nis = is not, nill — ne will = will 
not, nadde = ne hadde = ha.d not, &c. 

Near, " near is my smock " (28^), nearer. " Of friends, 
of foes, behold my foule expence, And never the 
neere." — Mirror for Mag. (1559), 364. 

Nearer, see Church. 

Need, (a) " need hath no law " (255 and 170c), in 
modern phrase : " Needs must where the devil 

(b) " need maketh the old wife trot " (99<i ; 183d), 
Fr. " besoin fait vieille trotter " (Roman de Trubert, 
c. 1300). 

(c) see Devil, Friend, True. 

Neighbourhood, " which neighbourhood in thee ap- 
pears " (125a), neighbourhood = the state or quality 
of being neighbours, situate near to. 

noble] Note-Book and Word-List 415 

Nesh, " 'tis too nesh " (149*2), soft. " He was to 
nesshe and she to harde." — Gower, Confessio 
Amantis (1393), v. 

Nest, see Bird. 

Net, (a) " the rough net is not the best catcher of 
birds " (22b). 

(b) see Fish, Fishing. 

(c) " set thee out net " (244c?), neat : note the 

(d) " all is fish that cometh to net " (39c), nothing 
comes amiss. " But now (aye me) the glasing 
christal glasse Doth make us thinke that realmes and 
townes are rych, Where favor sways the sentence of 
the law, Where al is fishe that cometh to net." — 
Gascoigne, Steele Glas (157 1). 

Nettle, (a) " she had pissed on a nettle " (99c), was 
peevish, out of temper. 
(b) see Dock. 

Never, see Climbed, Late. 

New broom, see Broom. 

New man, " showing himself a new man " (89c), through 
having reformed. 

Newer, " newer is truer " (63a). 

Next, see Hekst. 

Nigh, see Far. 

Nine, see Cat, Wonder. 

Ninth, " to the ninth degree " (287a), completely, per- 
fectly, utterly: in modern phrase " up (or down) to 
the nines." Probably from the mathematical for- 

Noble, " a bag of . . . nobles " (97a), noble = a gold 
coin struck by Edward III., and originally of the 
value of 6s. 8d. In the reigns of Henry VI. and 
Edward IV., the value of the noble having risen to 
10s., another gold coin of the same value as the original 
noble was issued called an angel (q.v.). Half-nobles 
and quarter-nobles were also current. 

416 Note-Book and Word-List [noddies 

Noddies (261^), simpletons, fools. " Ere you came 
thither, poor I was somebody ; The King delighteth 
in me, now I am but a noddy." — Edwards, Damon 
and Pithias (1567), Works (E.E.D.S.). 

Noon, (a) " go to bed at noon " (85a), betimes, uncon- 
scionably early. 

(6) " the longer forenoon the shorter afternoon " 

Noppy, " some noppy ale " (456), usually nappy = strong, 
"heady." "Nappy liquor will lullaby thy fine 
wittes. " — New Letter (1593). 

Nose, (a) " thou canst hold my nose to the grindstone " 
(13& and 173a), oppress, harass, punish, hold at 
a disadvantage. " A shame and . . . vilanie for you 
. . . hable to hold their nose to the grindstone, nowe 
... to be their pezantes, whose lordes your aunces- 
tors were." — Aylmer, Harborough, &c, 1559 (Mait- 
land on Ref., 220). " They might be ashamed, for 
lack of courage, to suffer the Lacedaemonians to hold 
their noses to the grindstone." — North, Plutarch 
(1578), 241. 

(b) " your nose drops ... I will eat no browesse 
sops " (87^), brose in O.E. = bread and fat meat 
(Huloet). " That tendre browyce made with a mary- 
boon." — Lydgate, Order of Fooles (d. 1460). 

(c) [I shall] " wipe your nose upon your sleeve " 
(97c), affront. " There is one Sophos, a brave gentle- 
man ; he'll wipe your son Peter's nose of Mistress 
Lelia."— Wily Beguiled (1606) [Dodsley, Old Plays 
(1874), ix. 242]. 

(d) see Hunger, Pepper. 

Nother (passim), neither. 

Nothing, (a) " nothing hath no savour " (20& ; 181a), 
there is no savour in want. 

(b) " where as nothing is the king must lose his 
right" (47*2 ; 218c), even the king can get nothing 
from nothing. 

(c) " where nothing is a little thing doth ease " 
(296 ; 184a). 

(d) see Something. 

offering] Note-Book and Word-List 417 

Nought, (a) " nought venture, nought have " (38c ; 

(b) " nought lay down, nought take up " (41c ; 

(c) " a thing of nought " (43c). 

(d) " whom I made of nought " (65c) — " bring to 
nought " (6sd). 

(e) see Mum, Play. 

(/) " all have and nought forgo " (223c). 
(g) " as good seek nought ... as seek and find 
nought " (38c). 

(h) " nought won by the tone, nought won by the 
tother " (41c). 

Nun, " as nice as a nun's hen " (52c), see Hen. 

Nurse, " God send that head a better nurse " (85^). 

Nut, " knack me that nut " (80c), solve me that 
problem, explain that, overcome this difficulty : knack 
= crack. 

Nycebecetur, " your ginifinee nycebecetur " (32^), appar- 
ently a term of contempt : Heywood uses it again in 
Play of the Weather (E.E.D.S., Works, 1. 123), 
" such nycebyceturs as she is." The word has puzzled 
all editors so far ; all that seems clear is that Heywood 
in each case employs the word in contempt of a 
woman. A somewhat exhaustive enquiry on the 
phrase is summed up in Heywood's Works (E.E.D.S.), 
in. Notebook s.v. Nicebecetur : see also Udall's 
Works (E.E.D.S.), pp. 138-9. 

Oar, " she (or he) must have an oar in every man's 
barge " (246 ; 207a), meddle in the business or affairs 
of others : somewhat earlier, the proverb occurs in a 
ballad entitled " Long have I bene a singing man," by 
John Redford (c. 1540). " In each mannes bote would 
he have an ore." — Udall, Apop. (c. 1543), II. 180. 

Occupy (289c), use, with an eye in the Epigram on 
the obscene sense of the word. " Inke made of sootc, 
such as printers occupie." — Nomenclator (1585). 
" These villains will make the word captain as odious 
as the word occupy." — Shakspeare, 2 Hen. IV. 
(1598), ii. 4. 

Offering, " long standing and small offering maketh 
poor parsons " (226c). 

4i 8 Note-Book and Word-List [office 

Office, see Jack. 

Old, see Children, Devil, Dog, Fool, Need, Saint, 

One, see Cometh. 

Ony, " had I ony " (966), any. 

Or (passim), ere, before, lest, than. 

Orologe, see Devil. 

Oste, " ye would now here oste " (34c), dwell, remain : 
i.e. host. 

Other, " other thou art a fool or ... I am one " (144b), 

O'thing, " this o'thing " (29c), one thing : = numeral 
adjective, a reduced form of 6n, oon : cf. nothing. 
" O flessh they been, and o flessh as I gesse Hath 
but oon herte, in wele and in distresse." — Chaucer, 
Merch. T. (c. 1386), 91. " 111 huswiferie othing or 
other must craue." — Tusser, Husb. (1573), 184 (1878). 
Also in Epigrams (172b), " I grant this othing." 

Out, (a) " out of sight, out of mind " (Sd). 
(b) see Smelled, Way. 

Out iles (41^), properly islands away from the main- 
land : here figuratively for an outlandish district, up- 
country, away from a centre of population. 

Oven, " no man will another in the oven seek, except 
that himself have been there before " (84b), the com- 
monest version is, " no woman will her daughter seek 
in the oven," &c. " A hackney proverb in men's 
mouths ever since King Lud was a little boy, or 
Belinus, Brennus' brother, for the love hee bare to 
oysters, built Billingsgate." — Nash, Have with you to 
Saffron Waldon (1596), 157. 

Overblow, see Wind. 
Overcometh, see Might. 

Overthwart, " overthwart the shins " (24c), across. 
Owl, " keep corners, or hollow trees with th' owl " 

paternoster] Note-Book and Word-List 419 

Own, " alway own is own at the reckoning's end " 
(64^; 214*2 ; 215a). 

Ox, see Black ox. 

Pad, " it will breed a pad in the straw " (63d; 226b), a 
lurking or hidden danger. " Though they make 
never so fayre a face, yet there is a padde in the 
strawe." — Palsgrave, &c. (1530), 595, 1. 

Paddock, see Haddock, Weather. 

Pain, (a) " change from ill pain to worse is worth small 
hire " (72 c). 

(b) " plant your own pain " (696). 

(c) " I have wrought mine own pain " (26a). 

(d) " take a pain for a pleasure all wise men can " 

Painted Sheath, see Sheath. 

Pair, see Mend. 

Pan, see Cat. 

Pannier, see Pig. 

Paring, " she will not part with the paring of her nails " 

Parish priest, " the parish priest forgetteth that ever 
he hath been holy water clerk " (386 ; 174^). 

Pars vers, " tell him he's pars vers " (59c), perverse. 

Parsons, " long standing and small offering maketh 
poor parsons " (98a ; 226c). 

Parson's leman, see Leman. 

Part, see Paring, Poverty. 

Past, " let all things past, pass " (906), let bygones be 
bygones ; let sleeping dogs lie. 

Pasture, see Calves. 

Paternoster, (a) " he may be in my paternoster . . but 
. . he shall never come in my creed (96c ; 189c). 
11 I trust yee remember your jugling at Newington 
with a christall stone, your knaveries in the wood by 
Wanstead, the wondrous treasure you would discover 
in the Isle of Wight, al your villanies about that 
peece of service, as perfectly known to some of my 

E E 2 

420 Note-Book and Word-List [patience 

friends yet living as their Paster-noster, who curse the 
time you ever came into their creed." — Chettle, Kind- 
Heart's Dream (1592). 

(b) " no penny, no paternoster " (96c), no pay, no 
prayers. " The Pater-noster, which was wont to fill 
a sheet of paper, is written in the compasse of a 
penny ; whereupon one merrily assumed that proverbe 
to be derived, No penny no pater-noster. Which their 
nice curtayling putteth mee in minde of the custome 
of the Scythians, who, if they had beene at any time 
distressed with famine, tooke in their girdles shorter." 
— Greene, Arcadia (1587). 

(c) " pattering the devil's paternoster to himself " 
(396), grumbling, muttering imprecations. " Yet wol 
they seyn harm and grucche and murmure priuely for 
verray despit, whiche wordes men clepen the deueles 
Pater noster." — Chaucer, Pars. T. (c. 1386), 434. 

Patience, " let patience grow in your garden alway " 

Patten, " her tongue was clapping like a patten " 

035k), *- e -> click-clack like a pair of pattens ; 

" nineteen to the dozen " : see Tongue. 

Paul, see Peter. 

Paul's weathercock, (115^); frequently referred to in 
old writers. " I am as very a turncote as the 
wethercoke of Poles." — Mariage of Witt and 
Wisdome (E.E.D.S. Anon. PI. 4 Ser.). 

Pay, see Peter, Shot. 

Payment, " misreckoning is no payment " (64^; 2i2d). 
Peal, see Ringeth. 

Peas, " who hath many peas may put the more in the 
pot " (12c). 

Penny, (a) " a penny for your thought " (61b), a call to 
persons in a " brown study." " Come, friar, I will 
shake him from his dumps. How cheer you, sir? a 
penny for your thought." — Greene, Friar Bacon (1588), 

(6) " to turn the penny " (926), earn money : the 
phrase occurs (1510) in Foxe's Acts and Monuments, 
iv. "His wyfe made hym so wyse, That he wolde 
tourne a peny twyse, And then he called it a 

peter] Note-Book and Word-List 421 

ferthynge." — Maid Emlyn (c. 1520) [Hazlitt, Early 
Pop. Poet. iv. 85]. 

(c) " not one penny to bliss him " (89a), very poor. 

Penny father, (123c), miser, niggard. " Alas, this re- 
confirms what I said rather, Cosmus has ever been 
a penny-father. — Harington, Epigrams (d. 1612), ii. 

Pepper, (a) " pepper in the nose " (64c; 212a), quick at 
offence, testy : Fr., moutarde au nez. " There are ful 
proude-herted men paciente of tonge, And boxome as 
of berynge to burgeys and to lordes, And to pore peple 
hav peper in the nose." — Langland, Piers Plowman 
(1362), xv. 197. 

(6) " pepper is black and hath a good smack " 
(6 2 d). 

Persever, " doth persever " (143d), note the rhyme 
with "ever." 

Pescod ale, (189b), pescod = pea-pod : much rustic folk- 
lore was formerly attached to pea-time, of which not 
a little found survival in New England. In As You 
Like It (ii. 4) Touchstone says to Rosalind, " I 
remember the wooing of a peascod instead of her," 
which perhaps is the most fitly paralleled in the 
following passage from Browne's Brit. Past. (p. 71) : 
" The peascod greene oft with no little toyle Hee'd 
seeke for in the fattest fertil'st soile, And rend it 
from the stalke to bring it to her, And in her bosome 
for acceptance wooe her." Both Nares and Halliwell 
may be consulted in this respect. Pescod-ale is 
doubtless the brew made for " pescod-time. " "In 
pescod time, when hound and home, Gives ear till 
buck be kill'd." — England's Helicon. 

Peter, " rob Peter and pay Paul " (31c; 170c), take of 
one to give to another. The proverb pretty certainly 
derives its origin from the fact that in the reign of 
Edward VI. the lands of St. Peter at Westminster 
were appropriated to raise money for the repair of 
St. Paul's in London. John Thirlby, the first and 
only Bishop of Westminster (1541-50), " having wasted 
the patrimony allotted by the King (Hen. VIII.) for 
the support of the see, was translated to Norwich, 
and with him ended the bishopric of Westminster " 
(Haydn, Dignities). Heylin (Hist. Ref. i. 256, 166 1) 

422 Note-Book and Word-List [pickpurse 

says that the lands at Westminster were so dilapidated 
by Bishop Thirlby that there was almost nothing to 
support the dignity. . . . Most of the lands invaded 
by the great men of the Court, the rest laid out for 
reparation to the Church of St. Paul, pared almost to 
the very quick in those days of rapine. From hence, 
he says, came first that significant byword (as is 
said by some) of robbing Peter to pay Paul. The 
French form of the proverb, " d£couvrir saint Pierre 
pour couvrir saint Paul " gives additional colouring to 
the statement, and is supported by Barclay in his 
Eclogues (Percy Soc. xxiii. xvii.), " They robbe St. 
Peter to cloth St. Paul." 

Pickpurse (31c), pickpocket. 

Pickthank (23d), toady : also as verb. " There be two 
tythes, rude and ranke, Symkyn Tytyuell and Pers 
Pykthanke." — Skelton, Works (1513-25), ii. 60 (Dyce). 
"Smiling pickthanks and base newsmongers." — 
Shakspeare, 1 Henry IV. (1598), iii. 2. 

Pie, (a) " merry as a pie " (60a). 
(b) see High. 

Piece, " this maid, the piece peerless in mine eye ■ 
(10c), piece = a person, male or female : often in con- 
tempt. " His princess say you? . . . Ay, the most 
peerless piece." — Shakspeare, Winter's Tale (1604), 
v. 1. 

Pig, (a) " a pig of mine own sow " (78c ; 204&). 

(b) " buy the pig in the poke " (gjd ; 182&), of a blind 
bargain. " And in the floor, with nose and mouth to 
broke, They walwe as doon two pigges in a poke." — 
Chaucer, Reeves Tale (c. 1386), 358. 

(c) " yet snatch ye at the poke that the pig is in, 
not for the poke, but the pig good cheap to win " 


(d) " when the pig is proffered . . . hold up the 
poke " (8c), " never refuse a good bargain." " When 
me profereth the pigge, open the poghe." — Douce MS. 
(c. 1400), 52. 

(e) "bid me welcome, pig; I pray thee kiss me' 

(/) " a pig of the worse panier " (102c). 

playeth] Note-Book and Word-List 423 

Pike, " one good lesson ... I pike " (8c, 11a, 726), 
mark, note, learn, pick out. 

Piked, " a pretty piked matter " (44c), cf. " a pretty 
kettle of fish "; piked = marked. 

Pilate's voice (25a), a loud, ranting voice. " In Pilate 
voys he gan to cry, And swor by armes, and by blood 
and bones." — Chaucer, Cant. Tales (c. 1386), 3126. 

Pillar, see Post. 

Pinchpenny, " that benchwhistler is a pinchpenny " 
(37c), a niggard in food, dress, or money : it early 
occurs in Occleve (1412), De Reg. Princip. " They 
accompt one ... a pynch penny if he be not prody- 
gall." — Lyly, Euphues, Anal, of Wit (1579), 109. 

Pinsons, " pinching pinsons " (263a), pincers. " Two 
crosse forkes of tonges which come from it one both 
sides, in the toppes whereof are little thinges like 
pynsons, to detaine and hold fast." — Topsell, Hist. 
Serp. (1608), 224. 

Pipe, (a) " who that leaveth surety and leaneth unto 
chance when fools pipe, by authority he may dance " 


(b) " to dance after her pipe " (756). 

(c) " he can ill pipe that lacketh his upper lip " 

Piss, see Fart, Nettle. 

Pitchers, " small pitchers have wide ears " (65c), 
usually of children : what children hear at home soon 
flies abroad. " Q. Elizabeth. A parlous boy ; go to, 
you are too shrewd. Archbishop. Good madam, be not 
angry with the child. Q. Elizabeth. Pitchers have 
ears." — Shakspeare, Richard III. (1597), ii. 4. 

Plain, (a) " plain without pleats " (69b), in the Epi- 
grams on Proverbs (210a) it is thus amplified, " the 
plain fashion is best . . . plain without pleats." 
(6) see Best. 

Plat, " in any place or plat " (2576), situation, place, 

Play, " as good play for nought as work for nought " 
(44b ; 180b). 

Playeth, see Win. 

424 Note-Book and Word-List [pleasure 

Pleasure, (a) " who will, in time present, pleasure re- 
frain, shall in time to come more pleasure obtain " 

(b) " follow pleasure and then will pleasure flee : 
flee pleasure and pleasure will follow thee " (32^). 

Plenty, " plenty is no dainty " (62b). 

Poke, see Pig. 

Poll, Poul (passim), rob, plunder, pillage : a play on 
poll = shave frequently occurs (see 259*2). 

Pompous provision, " pompous provision cometh not all 
alway of gluttony but of pride some time " (8id). 

Poor, see Offering, Souls. 

Post, (a) " from post to pillar . . . tost " (55c; 2i8d), 
hither and thither, with aimless effort or action : 
literally, from the same to the same — pillar = Lat. 
columna = post. Thus in the Ayenbite of Inwit a 
good man becomes a post in God's temple. " And, 
dainty duke, whose doughty dismal fame From Dis 
to Daedalus, from post to pillar, Is blown abroad." — 
Shakspeare and Fletcher, Two Noble Kinsmen (c. 
1611), iii. 5. 

(b) " in post pace " (51b), with all possible speed 
or expedition. " Lord George your brother, Norfolk, 
and myself, In haste, post-haste, are come to join with 
you." — Shakspeare, 3 Henry VI. (1594), ii. 1. 

(c) " a mill post thwitten to a pudding prick " 
(101a), said of unthrifts : twilten = to whittle down; 
pudding prick = the skewer used to fasten a pudding 

(d) "a post of physic " (55c), probably a posset. 

Pot, (a) " the weaker goeth to the pot " (6Sd ; 226c), pot 
has been thought to = (a) pit (i.e. of destruction), or (b) 
the melting pot of the refiner : the meaning, however, 
is clear, and the colloquialism, though ancient, is still 
in common use. In the illustration (infra) and in 
many monkish references the " pit " or " pot " is 
obviously a kind of oubliette, in which refractory 
monks or impenitent heretics were immured, suffering 
a lingering or speedy death at the will of their 
gaolers. Under a pot he schal be put in a pryvie 
chamber." — Piers Plowman, 62. " Not one of them 

precious stones] Note-Book and Word-List 425 

shall 'scape, but they shall to the pot." — Jacob and 
Esau (E.E.D.S., Anon. PL 2 Ser. 77a), v. 4 (1568). 

(b) "the pot so long to the water goeth, till at the 
last it cometh home broken " (82b), i.e. the inevitable 
must happen. " So long went the pot to the water, 
that at last it came broken home, and so long put he 
his hand into his purse, that at last the empty bottome 
returned him a writ of Non est inventus." — Greene, 
Never too Late (1590). 

(c) " neither pot broken nor water spilt " (227c). 

(d) " to see the pot both skimmed for running over 
and also all the liquor run at rover " (99b), to run at 
rover = to have too much liberty : here = squandered, 
wasted, dissipated. 

(e) " he that cometh last to the pot is soonest 
wroth " (996). 

(/) " my pot is whole and my water clean " (83a). 

(g) "little pot soon hot" (316), a little suffices; 
little people (or minds) are soon angered. " Now were 
I not a little pot, and soon hot, my very lips might 
freeze to my very teeth, . . . for, considering the 
weather, a taller man than I will take cold." — Shak- 
speare, Taming of the Shrew (1593), iv. I. 

Potted, " she was potted thus like a sot " (996), ruined : 
see Pot (a). 

Poulst, (170c), see Poll, 

Poverty, "poverty parteth fellowship" (48^; 218c). 

Powdering tub (245a), properly a salting tub, but also 
applied to the salivation bed or cradle, formerly used 
in the cure of the lues venerea. 

Peril, " the peril of prating out of tune by note " 

Prayers, " much motion ... to prayers with . . . little 
devotion " (96c). 

Prease, " some folk in luck cannot prease " (21b, 34c), 
press forward, hasten, "crowd in." "No humble 
suitors prease to speak for right." — Shakspeare, 3 
Henry VI. (1595), iii. I. 

Precious stones, see Hog. 

426 Note-Book and Word-List [prefe 

Prefe (in pi. Preves), " some case . . . showeth 

prefe " (46J, 2jd) f proof : also Preef (1206). 
Pressed (2206), ready : Fr. pret or O. Fr. prest. 

Prick, (a) " folly it is to spurn against a prick " (68b), 
in Biblical phrase, " to kick against," &c. 

(b) " ye shoot nigh the prick " (15a), in archery 
the point or mark in the centre of the butts ; or, as we 
should now say, " the bull's-eye." " Therefore seeing 
that which is most perfect and best in shootinge, as 
alwayes to hit the pricke, was never seene nor hard 
tell on yet amonges men." — Ascham, Toxoph. (1544), 

Pricketh, see Provender, Sharp thorn. 

Pride, (a) " pride will have a fall " (27a). 

(b) " pride goeth before and shame cometh after " 
(27b). " Pryde gothe before and shame cometh be- 
hynde . . . We may wayle the tyme that ever it 
came here." — Treatise of a Gallant (c. 15 10). 

Priest, " I would do more than the priest spake of on 
Sunday " (95^). 

Pritcht, " his nostrils so pritcht " (129c), pricked : 
still dialectical. 

Proface (79b), " much good may it do you ! " a common 
welcome at meals : in the Epigrams we find (page 
267): "Reader ... for preface, proface." "The 
dinner's half done before I say grace, And bid the 
old knight and his guest proface." — Hey wood, Wise 
Worn, of Hogsdon (1638). 

Proffered, " proffered service stinketh " (61a ; 209a 
and b). 

Property, " her property preves " (27^), cloak, disguise. 

Prophet, " not to my profit a prophet was I " (91b), 
the pun still does yeoman service. 

Proud, (a) " I proud and thou proud who shall bear th' 
ashes out? " (26^). 
(b) see Cock. 

Prove, see Friend. 

Provender, "his provender pricketh him" (33d; 216c 
and d). 

quittance] Note-Book and Word-List 427 

Provide, see Worst. 

Pudding, see Dog. 

Pudding time, " this year cometh ... in pudding 
time " (97c), in the nick of time, opportunely. " You 
come in pudding time, or else I had dress 'd them." — 
Tylney, Locrine (1594), Hi- 3- 

Pull, see Crow. 

Pulpit, " a proper pulpit piece " (82c), " gospel," some- 
thing to be received without question because ex- 
pounded as it were ex cathedrd. 

Purse, (a) " the purse is threadbare " (20b ; 221c). 

(b) "he is purse sick and lacketh a physician " 
(41b), needy, hard up. 

(c) " ye would buy my purse — give me a purgation " 

(d) be it better, be it worse, do ye after him 
that beareth the purse " (13a). 

(e) see Light. 
Put, see Case. 

Quarrelous (231a), here = apt to engender contention, 
fault-finding, complaining. " Goete wepynges and 
quarrellouse plaintes." — Caxton, Encydos (1490), xxii. 

Quarters, see Four Quarters. 

Queans, " flearing queans " (66a), wantons, strumpets : 
primarily quean (like queen) = a woman without regard 
to character or position ; the spelling ultimately differ- 
entiated the debased from the reputable meaning, a 
noteworthy instance occurring in Langland (Piers 
Plowman [1363], ix. 46, " At church in the charnel 
cheorles aren yuel to knowe Other a knyght fro a 
knave other a queyne fro a queene." 

Question, " this is a question of old enquiring " (91a). 

Quich, " pigs dare not quich there " (293a), quich = 

stir, move. 
Quick, " quick as a bee" (2id). 
Quight (47a"), quit. 
Quittance, see Sufferance. 

428 Note-Book and Word-List [rabbit 

Rabbit, " who the devil will change a rabbit for a rat " 

Rain, see Cloak. 
Rate, " rise ye as ye rate " (55^), reckon, fix, decide. 

Ravine, " ruin of one ravine " (93c), ravine = an act of 
rapine. " I sorowed for the provinces misfortunes, 
wrackt by private ravins and publick taxes." — Q. Eliz. 
tr. Boeth. (1593), I. pr. iv. 9. 

Ream, " a ream thence " (200a), realm, kingdom ; here 
a type of great distance : the usage is unrecorded in 
the O.E.D. 

Receivers, " where be no receivers, there be no thieves " 
(48c; 180b). "It is a comon sayinge, ware there no 
receyver there shoulde be no thefe. So ware there no 
stewes, there shulde not so many honeste mennes 
doughters rune awaye from there fathers and playe the 
whores as dothe." — A Christen Exhortation unto 
Customable Swearers (1575). 

Reckoners, (a) " reckoners without their host must 
reckon twice " (19a 1 ). Fr., " Comptoit sans son hoste." 
— Rabelais, Gargantua. 

(b) "even reckoning maketh long friends" (640"; 

(c) " reckoning without thine host thou must 
reckon twice " (173b). 

Reckoning, see Reckoners. 

Recumbentibus (856), a knock-down blow : cf. " circum- 
bendibus." " He yaff the Kyng Episcropus Suche a 
recumbentibus, He smot in-two bothe helme and 
mayle." — Laud Troy Bk. (c. 1400), 7400. 

Red herring, see Fish. 

Relevavith, " what shall be his relevavith " (36a), 
relief. " I see not any greate lightlywod that any 
good summe will comm in, tyl after Christmas, and 
then no more than the releuauithes." — State Papers, 
Hen. VIII. (1546), I. ii. 840. 

Ren, Renning, " to ren as swiftly " (n8d), run : hence 
(119a), running; and so forth. 

Rest, " money . . . thou dost rest so " (255c), lay by, 
store for use. 

riveled] Note-Book and Word-List 429 

Resty, " resty wealth " (i2d) : resty may be subject to 
three glosses = (a) indolent, lazy : meaning that wealth 
obtained by a rich marriage tends thereto ; or (b) it 
may = restive, coy (as hard to get); or (c) = it may be 
a contemptuous application of resty = rancid, thus 
referring to money as " dross, " " muck, " &c. " Where 
the master is too resty or too rich to say his own 
prayers, or to bless his own table." — Milton, Icono- 
clastes (1649), xxiv. 

Revart, " that oath again revart " (128&), take back. 

Reweth (78c), rues. 

Rhyme, " it may rhyme but it accordeth not " (44c ; 
22 ia). " It may wele ryme but it accordith nought." 
— Lydgate, MS. poem, " On Inconstancy." 

Riches, " riches bringeth oft harm and ever fear, where 
poverty passeth without grudge of grief " (46(f). 

Richesse, " beauty without richesse " (14b), riches : 
properly a singular, but now used as a plural. 

Rid, see Rock. 

Right, see Might, Nothing. 

Right side, " you rose on your right side " (62c), a 
happy augury : the modern usage speaks of the reverse 
or " wrong side of the bed." " C. What! doth shee 
keepe house alreadie? D. Alreadie. C. O good God : 
we rose on the right side to-day." — Terence in English 

Rime, see Rhyme. 

Ring, " I hopping without for a ring of a rush " (9a), 
see Rush-ring. 

Ringeth, " she ringeth a peal, a larum " (78b). 

Ringleader (24^), originally one who led a ring, as of 
dancers, &c. 

Ripe, " soon ripe soon rotten " (27c) : this proverb also 

occurs in Harman, Caveat, &c. (1567). 
Rise, see Sit. 

Riveled, '■ with riveled old face " (1426), wrinkled, 
shrunk. " Grumbates ... a man ... of middle 
age, and with riveled lims, but carrying with him a 

430 Note-Book and Word-List [roast 

brave mind, and ennobled for the ensignes of many 
goodly victories." — Ammianus Marcellinus (1609). 

Roast, (a) " rule the roast " (13a), to have (or take) 
the lead (or mastery) : roast = roost (probably). " But 
at the pleasure of me That ruleth the roste alone." — 
Skelton, Colyn Cloute (c. 1518). 

(b) " he looked like one that had beshit the roast " 

(c) " roast a stone (56c), i.e. one may put warmth 
into but can never get heat out of a stone. " They may 
garlicke pill Cary sackes to the mil Or pescoddes they 
may shil Or els go roste a stone." — Skelton, Why 
come ye not to Court? (1520). 

Rob, see Peter. 

Robbery, " change is no robbery " (2046), see Change. 

Robin Hood, " tales of Robin Hood are good among 
fools " (94c), the story of Robin Hood ultimately grew 
so misty and traditional that the name became a 
generic byword for the marvellous that was not be- 
lievable. Thus Robin Hood, subs. = a daring lie; Robin 
Hood's pennyworth (of things sold under value); 
" Good even, good Robin Hood " (said of civility ex- 
torted by fear) ; " Many talk of Robin Hood that never 
shot in his bow " (750) = many speak of things of 
which they have no knowledge; and " Tales of Robin 
Hood are good enough for fools." " I write no ieste 
ne tale of Robin Hood." — Barclay, Ship of Fooles 
(1509), fol. 250 (1570). 

Rock, " thus rid the rock " (92b and iS6d), i.e. so 
was the distaff managed, manipulated: rock = the dis- 
taff or frame about which flax, wool, &c, was ar- 
ranged and from which the thread was drawn in 
spinning. Hence here the meaning is " So managed 
you your thrift badly." " I'll ride your horse as well 
as I ride you." — Shakspeare, Twelfth Night (1602), 
iii. 4. 

Rod, (a) " when haste proveth a rod made for his own 
tail " (7a). 

(b) " beaten with his own rod " (7a). " don 

fust Con kint sovent est-on batu." — Roman du Renart 
(c. 1300). 

royals] Note- Book and Word- List 431 

Rolling stone, " the rolling stone never gathereth 
moss" (31c). "I, thy head is alwaies working; it 
roles, and it roles, Dondolo, but it gathers no mosse, 
Dondolo." — Marston, Fawn (1606). " Pierre volage 
ne queult mousse." — De I'Hermite qui se de'sespe'ra 
pour le Larron qui ala en Paradis avant que lui (13th 

Rome, " Rome was not built in one day and yet stood 
till . . . finished " (36^; 223a). " Haec tamen vulgaris 
sententia me aliquantulum recreavit, quae etsi non 
auferre, tamen minuere possit dolorem meum, quae 
quidem sententia haec est, Romam uno die non fuisse 
conditam." — Queen Elizabeth, Extempore speech be- 
fore the University of Cambridge (9th August, 1564). 

Roof, "he is at three words up in the house roof " 
(66d) : nowadays we say "up in the skies." 

Rope, (a) " as meet as a rope for a thief " (24c). 

(b) " he haleth her by the boy rope " (78c), see 
Boy rope. 

Rope-ripe (281a), fit for (or deserving) the hangman's 
rope. " Lord, how you roll in your rope-ripe terms ! " 
— Chapman, May Day (161 1), iii. 

Rough bit, " I will bridle thee with rough bit " (i8id). 

Routing, " routing like a hog " (30a), rout = snore. 

Rovers, " ye pry and ye prowl at rovers " (31c) — " letnot 
your tongue run at rover " (69a) — (also 996), at rover 
= wild, unrestrained, at random. 

Rowles, " at rowles " (280ft), a precinct situated be- 
tween the cities of London and Westminster, enjoy- 
ing certain immunities, and hence called the Liberty 
of the Rolls : the name being derived from the 
rolls or records deposited in its chapel. 

Royals (i.e. Rial), " a bag of royals and nobles " 
(97a), royal = an old English gold coin, of varying 
value, from 10s. in Henry VI. 's time to 15s. in 
Queen Elizabeth's, whilst in the reign of James I. the 
rose-rial was worth 30s., and the spur-rial, 15s. : see 

432 Note-Book and Word-List [royle 

Royle, " by your revellous riding on every royle " (8ia), 
royle = a Flemish horse: this would seem to echo the 
alleged contempt of Henry VIII. as regards Anne of 
Cleves, whom he described as " a Flanders mare." 

Rub, see Horse. 

Ruin, " ruin of one ravin was there none greater M 
(93c), see Ravine. 

Rule, "better rule than be ruled" (13a; 185c). 
Ruled, see Dame. 

Run, (a) " he may ill run that cannot go " (946 ; 189b). 

(b) " ye run to work in haste as nine men held ye " 

(c) " she thinketh I run over all that I look on " 
(77c), examine, " possess," have to do with. 

(d) see Cat, Hare. 

Runneth, (a) " he runneth far that never turneth 
again " (90& ; 182a). 
(b) see Tongue. 

Rush, " care not a rush " (95a), rush = \ow standard 
of value. " And yet yeve ye me nevere The worthe 
of a risshe." — Langland, Piers Plowman (1362), 2421. 

Rushes, " green rushes for this stranger, straw here " 
(596) : it was usual, before the introduction of carpets, 
to strew rushes on the floors of dwelling-houses ; and 
on the entrance of a visitor, hospitality required that 
they should be renewed. " Where is this stranger? 
Rushes, ladies, rushes : Rushes as green as summer 
for this stranger." — Beaumont and Fletcher, Valen- 
tinian (1617), ii. 4. 

Rush-ring, " a ring of a rush " (9a), a rush ring = a 
symbol of a mock marriage. " As fit . . . as Tib's 
rush for Tom's forefinger." — Shakspeare, All's Well 
(1598), ii. 2, 22. 

Sack, (a) " an old sack axeth much patching " (58a). 
(b) " it is a bad sack that will abide no clouting " 
Saddles, (a) " where saddles lack better ride on a pad 
than on the horse bareback " (296). 
(b) see Sow. 

scratching] Note-Book and Word-List 433 

Sage, " sage said saws " (76). 

Said, (a) " sooner said than done " (73b). 

(b) " little said soon amended " (202c), the modern 
form is " least said soonest mended." 

(c) " other folks said it but she did it " (99^). 

Saint, (a) " young saint, old devil " (27c ; 177a), the 
reverse was quite as common — " young devil, old 

Saint Audry (73d), or Auldrey, meaning Saint Ethel- 
dreda, who (by tradition) died of a swelling in her 
throat, which she considered as a particular judgment 
for having been in her youth much addicted to wearing 
fine necklaces (Nich. Harpsfield (1622), Hist. Eccl. 
Anglicana) : hence tawdry. 

Saint Needs (244a), a play, most likely, on the 
Huntingdonshire St. Neots. 

Sat, " she sat upon thorns " (27c). 

Sauce, see Sweet. 

Savour, see Nothing. 

Savourly, " very savourly sound " (14b), properly, 
rightly — as with a good and proper sense. 

Say, (a) " I say little . . . but I think more " (576). 
(b) see Day, Mum, Nay. 

Saying, " saying and doing are two things " (736) ; 

Scabb'd, Scald, see Horse. 

Scarborough warning, " Scarborough warning I had " 
(436 ; 223d), no warning at all ; a blow before the word. 
Fuller in his Worthies says : " The proverb took its 
original from Thomas Stafford, who in the reign of 
Queen Mary, 1557, with a small company seized on 
Scarborough Castle (utterly destitute of provision for 
resistance) before the townsmen had the least notice 
of his approach." " I received a message from my lord 
chamberlaine . . . that I should preach before him 
upon Sunday next ; which Scarborough warning did 
not only perplex me, but sp puzzel me." — Mayhew, 
Letter (1603, 19th January). 

Scratching, see Cat. 


434 Note-Book and Word-List [sealed 

Sealed, see Butter. 

See, (a) " see me and see me not " (69c; 211c). 

(b) " I see much, but I say little and do less " (41b). 

(c) see Far, Millstone. 

(d) " seeing that ye never saw " (33a). 

Seek, (a) " to seek for that she was loth to find " (71a) — 
" I seek for a thing . . . that I would not find " 
(205a). Also see Find and Nought. 

Seeld (passim), seldom. 

Seeled when, " coming seeled when " (44b ; 314a), 

Seely, " these seely worms " (131b), silly. 

Seen, (a) " seen of the tone sort and heard of the 
tother " (101b). 
(b) see Far. 

Seest, see See. 

Sbgging, " the Dutchman saith that segging is good 
cope " (94a), segging = sedge. 

Seldom, (a) "seldom cometh the better" (11a; 1886). 
" This change is like to the rest of worldly chaunges 
. . . from the better to the worse : For as the Proverb 
sayth : Seldome corns the better." — English Courtier 
and Country Gentleman (1586). 

(b) " seldom seen, soon forgotten " (30^). 

Self, " self do, self have " (20a). 

Senior de Graunde (13a). " I myself will mounsire 
graunde captain undertake." — Udall, Roister Doister 
(E.E.D.S.), iv. 8, 98b. 

Service, " proffered service stinketh " (61a ; 209a and 
b), see Proffered. 

Set, see Foot, Heart. 

Seven, see Six. 

Seven year, see Happeth. 

Shall, "that shall be, shall be" (53b; 181c), the 
modern "we shall see what we shall see " is regarded 
as a modern echo of nous verrons que nous verrons, 
whereas the idiom is apparently of ancient lineage of 
native growth. 

shoe] Note-Book and Word-List 435 

Shame, (a) "shame take him that shame thinketh " 
(21b; 174c), i.e. " Honi soit qui mal y pense." 

Shame, see Pride. 

Shameful, " shameful craving . . . must have shameful 

nay " (35**). 
Sharp, " all thing that is sharp is short " (56^). 

Sharp thorn, " it pricketh betimes that shall be a 
sharp thorn" (94a; 187c!). "Young it pricketh that 
will be a thorn." — Jacob and Esau (E.E.D.S., Anon. 
PL 2 Ser. nd). 

Sheaf, " take as falleth in the sheaf " (64b ; 213a). 

Sheath, " she maketh so much of her painted sheath " 
(26d ; 180c). 

Sheep, (a) " as rich as a new shorn sheep " (42^), 
penniless, " fleeced." " The nexte that came was a 
coryar And a Cobelar, his brother, As ryche as a new 
shorne shepe." — Cocke Lorelles Bote (c. 15 10). 
(b) " subtilly like a sheep thought I " (20&). 

Sheep's eye, " he cast a sheep's eye at her " (185c), 
ogled, leered : originally to look modestly and with 
diffidence but always with longing or affection. " That 
casting a sheepe's eye at hir, away he goes ; and euer 
since he lies by himselfe and pines away." — Greene, 
Francesco's Fortunes (1590), Works, viii. 191. 

Sheep's flesh, " he loveth well sheep's flesh that wets 
his bread in the wool " (70c) : Sharman thinks this 
refers to a broth or jelly made from the sheep's head 
boiled with the wool ; as also witness the following 
from a poem attributed to Lydgate — " Of the shepe 
is cast awaye no thynge ; ... Of whoos hede boyled, 
with wull and all, Tere cometh a gely and an oynte- 
ment ryal." — Treatyse of the Horse, Shepe, and Goos. 

Shift, " shift each one for himself as he can " (96^). 
Shilling, " to bring a shilling to ninepence " (66c). 
Shins, see Cast. 
Shod, see Shoemaker's wife. 

Shoe, (a) " the shoe will hold with the sole " (67c ; 

(b) " now for good luck cast an old shoe after me " 
(2 id), an old and still intelligible bit of folk-lore : 

F F 2 

436 Note- Book and Word-List [shoemaker's wife 

allusions to it are very numerous in old writers. 
" Captain, your shoes are old, pray put 'em off, And 
let one fling 'em after us." — Beaumont and Fletcher, 
Honest Man's Fortune (1613). 

(c) " myself can tell best where my shoe doth wring 
me " (6gd), the moderns substitute " pinch " for 
" wring." " I wot best, wher wringeth me my sho. " 
— Chaucer, Cant. Tales (1383), 9426. 

(d) *' who waiteth for dead men's shoes shall go 
long barefoot " (45a), it is tedious looking forward to 
inheritances. " You are my maister's sonne, and you 
looke for his lande ; but they that hope for dead men's 
shoes may hap go barefoote." — Two Angry Women 
of Abington (1599). 

(e) see Gosling. 

Shoemaker's wife, " who is worse shod than the shoe- 
maker's wife " (39c? ; 223c), an excuse for lack of 
something one ought to possess : compare Slipper. 

Shoon, " clouted shoon " (145^), shoon = shoes : still 
good Scots. 

Shoot, (a) "ye shoot nigh the prick" (15a), prick = 
point, dot, mark, " bull's-eye." 

(6) " he shooteth wide " (205c and d). 
(c) " whom ye see out of the way, or shoot wide, 
over-shoot not yourself any side to hide " (58c). 

Shootanker, " her substance is shootanker whereat I 
shoot" (13d), chief support; i.e. the principal attrac- 
tion as constituting the lady's last chance of mar- 

Shooting, " short shooting leseth your game " (97c), 
a technical term in archery : i.e. shooting wide of the 

Shore, " ye lean ... to the wrong shore " (576). 

Shorn, (a) " as rich as a new shorn sheep " (42^), see 

(b) see Face. 
Short, see Cow, Horse. 

Shot, (a) " pay the shot" (45^), shot — reckoning, share 
of expense. " Well at your will ye shall be furnisht. 
But now a jugling tricke to pay the shot." — Chettle, 
Kind Harts Dreame (1592). 
(b) see Comings Fool. 

six] Note-Book and Word-List 437 

Shrew, " every man can rule a shrew save he that hath 

her " (75a). 
Shrewd cow, see Cow. 
Shrift, " at shrift " (136b). 
Side, see Bread, Hear. 

Sight, " out of sight out of mind " (8d ; ij2d), a saying 
which is found in Thomas a Kempis (1450), and earlier 
in Prov. of Hendyng (c. 1320) — " Fer from eye, fer 
from herte, Quoth Hendyng." 

Silver, see Farthing. 

Simper de cocket (526), found as a subs, as well as an 
adj. = coquettish, wanton. " I saw you dally with your 
simper de cocket." — Heywood, Play of Weather 
(Works, 1. i22d). " And gray russet rocket With 
simper the cocket." — Skelton, The Tunnyng of Ely- 
noure Rummyng (1520). 

Sing, see Thieves. 

Sink, (a) " sink in thine own sin " (28c ; 217c). 
(6) " sink or swim " (926). 

Sir John (66d), generic for a parish priest : our univer- 
sities . . . confer the designation of Dominus on those 
who have taken their first degree of Bachelor of Arts ; 
the word Dominus was naturally translated Sir, and, 
as almost every clergyman had taken his first degree, 
it became customary to apply the term to the lower 
class of the hierarchy. 

Sit, "better sit still than rise and fall" (68c; 2iod). 
" Oh Cousin, I have heard my father say, that it i> 
better to sit fast than to rise and fall, and a great 
wise man who knew the world to a hayre, would say, 
that the meane was sure : better be in the middl- 
roome, then either in the Garret or the Sellor. "— 
Brereton, Court and Country (1618). 

Six, " a six and seven " (38c? ; 20c), in confusion, at 
loggerheads. " Alle in sundur hit [a tun] brast in six 
or in seuyn." — Avowyne of King Arther (c. 1340), 64 
[Camden Soc, Eng. Meln. Rom. 89]. 

(b) " six days in the week beside the market day " 
(31a), always. 

438 Note-Book and Word-List [skin 

Skin, (a) " a lamb's skin ye will provide ... to lap 
her in " (76c), see Lamb's skin. 

(b) " it is good sleeping in a whole skin " (69a), 
this is the title of a play by W. Wager, not now 

(c) see Fox. 

Skirts, " sit on their skirts " (13b), pursue, persecute, 
" go for." " Touching the said archbishop, he had 
not stood neutrall as was promised, therefore he had 
justly set on his skirts." — Howell, Fam. Lett. (1650). 

Sky, " when the sky falleth we shall have larks " (nc), 
a retort to a wild hypothesis ; " if pigs had wings they 
would be likely birds." "Si Tes nues tomboyent 
esperoyt prendre les alouettes." — Rabelais, Gargantua. 

Slander, " it may be a slander but it is no lie " (84c). 

Sleeping dog, see Dog. 

Sleeve, (a) "laughed in my sleeve" (71a; 204^), de- 
rided or exulted in secret. 

(b) " flattering knaves and Hearing queans . . . 
hang oq his sleeve " (66a), lickspittle, cadge from, are 
dependent on. 

(c) "a broken sleeve holdeth th' arm back " (21b). 
" It is a terme with John and Jacke, Broken sleeve 
draweth arme a backe." — Parliament of Byrdes 

(d) " she lacketh but even a new pair of sleeves " 

(e) see Dagger. 

Sleeveless errand (17c?), the origin of " sleeveless " is 
a matter of conjecture, though its meaning is tolerably 
clear: thus "a sleeveless ( = inadequate) reason" 
(Relig, Antiq.) ; "a sleeveless ( = trifling) excuse" 
(Lyly) ; "sleeveless ( = aimless) rhymes" (Hall); "a 
sleeveless ( = objectless, wanting cover or excuse, fruit- 
less, fool's) errand " (Chaucer, Shakspeare, &c). 
Sharman suggests the mediaeval custom of favoured 
knights ,wearing the sleeve of their mistress as a mark 
of favour, aspirants failing to obtain the badge being 
dubbed " sleeveless " — " Sir Launcelot wore the sleive 
of the faire maide of Asteloth in a tourney, whereat 
queene Guenever was much displeased " (Spenser). 

soft] Note-Book and Word-List 439 

Slipper, " let not the cobbler wade above his slipper " 
(Epigrams). " Heere are the tenne precepts to be 
observed in the art of scolding : therefore let not the 
cobler wade above his slipper. The cobler above his 
slipper, said Chubb, hee is a knave that made that 
proverb." — Simon Snel-knave, Fearefull and Lament- 
able Effects of Two Dangerous Comets (1591). 

Slipstring, " a waghalter slipstring " (S6d), a gallows- 
bird, one rope-ripe but who has cheated the gallows. 
" Thow art a slipstring I'le warrant." — Lyly, Mother 
Bombie (1594), ii. I. 

Slops, " his slops are ..." (259a), a linen outer 

Sloth, " sloth must breed a scab " (gb). 

Slugging, " slugging in bed " (58a), lazing. " All night 
slugging in a cabin." — Spenser, State of Ireland. 

Small, (a) "many small make a great" (376; 216b), 
mod. "many a mickle makes a muckle." "The 
proverbe saith that many a small makith a grete." — 
Chaucer, Parson's Tale (1383). 
(b) see Offering, Pitchers. 

Smelled, " I smelled her out " (39c ; 2276), discovered, 
" nosed," found. " Can you smell him out by that? " 
— Shakspeare, Much Ado (1600), iii. 2. 

Snail, " in haste like a snail " (2 id). 

Sneakbill, " such a sneakbill " (88c), a generic term of 
contempt. " A checheface, mecher, sneakebill, 
wretched fellow, one out of whose nose hunger drops." 
— Cotgrave, Did. (161 1). 

Snow, " snow is white and lyeth in the dike and every 
man lets it lie " (62d). 

Snowering, " lowering and snowering " (2866). 

Snudge, " pinch like a snudge " (83?/), snudge = miser. 
" Your husbandry ... is more like the life of a 
covetous snudge that ofte very evill proves." — Ascham, 
Toxoph. (1544), i. 

Socket, see Candle. 

Soft, see Fire. 

440 Note-Book and Word-List [solarum 

Solarum, see Familorum. 

Sold, (a) " better sold than bought " (27a). 

(b) " like one to be sold she set out herself in fine 
apparel " (52a). 

Sole, see Shoe. 

Some, " here some and there some " (217a). 

Something, " something is better than nothing " (1726 

and 29c, with " somewhat " for " something "). 
Sool, " a thing by itself sool " (148c), by itself, alone. 

Soon, (a) " till soon fare ye well " (74a), this may = till 
some future time not far distant, or soon = evening, a 

(b) see Hot, Said. 

Sooth, (a) " ye say sooth " (131^), truth. " If thy 
speech be sooth, I care not if thou dost for me as 
much." — Shakspeare, Macbeth (1606), v. 5. 
(b) see Bourd. 

Sore, (a) " present salve for this present sore " (2od). 
(b) see Flies, Store. 

Sorrow, (a) "I had sorrow to my sops " (Syd). 

(b) " make not two sorrows of one " (72 d ; 173d). 

(c) " to bring her solace that bringeth me sorrow " 

Sot, " he is a sot " (238c et passim), fool : see Hey- 
wood, Works (E.E.D.S.), 1, 267a. 

Souls, " poor men have no souls " (201^ ; 202a). 

Sour, see Sweet. 

Souse head, " like a souse head " (136a), fool, simple- 
ton, sillikins : also souse-crown. 

Sow, (a) " meet as a sow to bear a saddle " (52c ; 226a). 
(6) " the still sow eats up the draff " (27c ; 196c?), 
still sow = a generic reproach, a sly lurking fellow; 
draff = anything unfit for human food. " We do not 
act, that often jest and laugh ; Tis old but true, still 
swine eat all the draff." — Shakspeare, Merry Wives of 
Windsor (1596), iv. 2. 

(c) " grease the fat sow on th' arse (or tail) " (39a), 
be insensible to kindness : see Scogin's Jests. 

(d) " the sow will no more so deep root " (58c). 

spurn] Note-Book and Word-List 441 

(e) " (ye took) the wrong sow by the ear " (92a), 
to make a wrong conclusion. " When he has got 
into one o' your city pounds, the counters, he has the 
wrong sow by the ear, i' faith; and claps his dish at 
the wrong man's door." — Jonson, Every Man in his 
Humour (1596), ii. 7. 

(/) see Backare, Pig. 

Sown, " in a sown " (185a), swoon. 

Space, see Grace. 

Spangs, " glittering spangs " (243d), spangles. 

Spare, (a) " ever spare and ever bare " (66c). 

(b) " spare to speak, spare to speed " (38c ; 2o6d ; 

Spark, " this spark of hope have I " (101a). 

Speak, see Spare. 

Speed, (a) " both bade me God speed, but none bade me 
welcome " (23c). 
(b) see Spare. 

Spial, " upon spial " (231c), espial. 

Spiced, " a mortar spiced " (262c), an interesting item : 
cf. modern wheezes — spicy = outrageous, " hot "; horse 
chesnut v. chestnut horse ; and the like. 

Spillest, " thou spillest all other matter " (227c), sfille 
(A.N.) = mar, destroy, spoil. " And there stode they 
alle stylle. There had he thoght redyly To have do 
the quene a velanye, Fayne he wolde hur spylle." — 
MS. Cantab., Ff. ii. 38, f. 73. 

Spin, see Tow. 

Spit, " I will spit in my hands and take better hold " 

Spittle, " in the spittle " (176a), hospital. 

Spoons, " as nice as it had been a ha'porth of silver 
spoons " (98c). 

Spun, see Thread. 

Spur, " a gentle white spur and at need a sure spear " 

Spurn, see Wall. 

442 Note-Book and Word-List [square 

Square, (a) see Inch. 

(b) " by this square" (231^) — " by scornful square " 
(2426), suitability, exactness, amity, agreement; hence 
scornful square = disagreement and so forth. 

Stable door, " when the steed is stolen shut the stable 
durre " (26b), set a guard after the mischief is done; 
see Barclay, Ship of Fools (1509), i. 76 (1874). " Quant 
le cheval esi emble" dounke ferme fols Testable." — 
Les Proverbes del Vilain (c. 1300). " The steede was 
stollen before I shut the gate, The cates consumed 
before I smelt the feast." — Devises of Sundrie Gentle- 
men. Durre = door. 

Staff, (a) " the worse end of the staff " (58c), we now 

say " wrong end of the stick." 

(b) " what sendeth he (i.e. God), a staff and a 

wallet?" (66d). 
Stake, (a) "the loth stake standeth long" (6od ; 222a 

and b). 

(b) "it is an ill stake that cannot stand one year 
in a hedge" (6od ; 212c). 

(c) " as a bear goeth to the stake " (21c). 

(d) " we shall so part stake, that I shall lese the 
whole " (67c). 

(e) see Steak. 

Stale, (a) " stale a goose " (42c), stole : an old inflec- 

(b) " stale home to me " (65b), see supra. 
(c)."my tales are not stale" (189b), stale = old, 

strong : specifically of ale. 
Stand, (a) " stand and stean " (1926), stand = a beer 

barrel set on end; stean — an earthenware or stone 


(b) see Stake. 
Standing, see Offering. 
Start, " who hopeth in God's help his help cannot 

start" (iic), change, be moved away. 
States, " when states sit . . . in the cool " (2586), 

states = persons of rank or quality. 
Stave's end, " I live here at stave's end " (42b). 
Stay, " to stay somewhat for her staying " (89b), keep 

back somewhat for a rainy day. 

stools] Note-Book and Word-List 443 

Steak, " hath eaten a steak " (356), possibly in allusion 
to the " stuck-uppishness " described a pun on 
" stake " is intended ; much as modern printers speak 
of one so afflicted as having swallowed (or stiffened 
his back with) a brass rule. 

Steal, (a) " thou wilt beg or steal ere thou die " (34a). 
(b) see Goose, Horse. 

Stean, see Stand. 

Steed, see Grass, Stolen. 

Steinth, " steinth yet the stoutest " (nb), checks, causes 
to hesitate. " The Reve answered and saide, Stint 
thy clappe." — Chaucer, Cant. Tales (1383), 3144. 

Stepdame, see Dame. 

Stervetm, " the horse sterveth " (36c/), starveth : note 
the rhyme — " serveth " = *' sarveth, " now vulgar; cf. 
Jacob and Esau, ii. 3 (E.E.D.S., Anon. PL 2 Ser. 

Stick, see Goose. 

Stiff-necked (87c), untoward, unruly, mulish. 

Stile, " ye would be over the stile ere ye come at it " 
(gjd). " Dulipo. I would fayne have you conclude. 
Erostrato. You would fayne leape over the stile before 
you come at the hedge." — Gascoigne, Supposes (1575). 

Still, see Sit, Sow. 

Stinketh, see Service. 

Stobbers, " stake stobbers " (212c), hedgers. 

Stock, see Chips. 

Stomach, " an when the meal mouth hath won the 
bottom of your stomach " (23d). 

Stone, (a) " the rolling stone never gathereth moss " 
(31c), see Moss. 

(b) "I do but roast a stone " (56c), see Roast. 

(c) see Hog. 

Stools, " between two stools my tale go'th to the 
ground " (96 ; 20od), found in a French manuscript 
of the fourteenth century — " Entre deux arcouns 
chet cul a terre." — Les Proverbes del Vilain, MS. 
Bodleian (c. 1300). 

444 Note-Book and Word-List [stop 

Stop, see Mouth. 

Store, (a) " store is no sore " (12c; 176^). 
(b) see Fair. 

Straight-laced (37c/ ; i2gd), precise, squeamish, puri- 

Strainable, " sturdy storms strainable " (55a), violent, 
strong. " A Portingale ship was driven and drowned 
by force of a streinable tempest neere unto the shore 
of the Scotish Isles." — Holinshed, Hist. Scotland: 

Strake (292b), put, struck. 

Straw, (a) " ye stumbled at a straw and leapt over a 
block " (92b ; 197a), made much of nothing. " Lest 
of a strawe we make a block." — Pilgr. Perf. [W. de 
W., 1531], 93- 

(b) " this gear will breed a pad in the straw " 
(226b), see Pad. 

(c) " lay a straw here and even there " (63c). 

(d) " thou wilt not step over a straw " (4 id), go a 
step out of the way. 

(e) see Cat. 

Stream, " to strive against the stream " (68b; 210c). 

Strife, " since by strife ye may lose and cannot win 
suffer " (69a). 

Strike, see Iron. 

String, see Bow, Harp. 

Striveth, see Stream. 

Stumble, see Straw. 

Stumbleth, see Horse. 

Sufferance, (a) " sufferance is no quittance " (6^d ; 

(b) " of sufferance cometh ease " (22b ; 174a). " He 
give a proverbe — Sufferance giveth ease." — Marston, 
What you Will (1607). 
(e) see Dance. 

Sugar, (a) " when time hath turned white sugar to 
white salt " (6c), otherwise (as 32(f), " when sweet 
sugar should turn to sour saltpetre." 
(b) " I have for fine sugar fair rat's bane " (80a). 

tail] Note-Book and Word-List 445 

Summ'd, Summing, " wings full summ'd " (224a), full 
feathered : a falconry term. " The muse from 
Cambria comes, with pinions summ'd and sourd." — 
Drayton, Polyolb. (1613), xi. 859. 

Summer, see Swallow. 

Sun, " when the sun shineth make hay " (8c), seize 
your chance or opportunity. 

Sure, see Butter. 

Surgeon, " I am like the ill surgeon (said I) without 
store of good plasters " (2od). 

Swallow, " one swallow maketh not summer " (70a). 
" One swallowe prouveth not that summer is neare." 
— Northbrooke, Treatise against Dauncing (1577). 

Sweepeth, see Broom. 

Sweet, (a) " sweet meat will have sour sauce " (19*2 ; 
2o8d ; 209a). 
(6) " take the sweet with the sour " (62c). 

(c) " sweet sauce began to wax sour " (54b). 

(d) " sweet beauty with sour beggary " (496). 

(e) see Fire. 

Swim, " he must needs swim that is hold up by the 
chin " (i2d), see Scogin's Jests (1565). 

Sword, (a) " he that striketh with the sword shall be 
stricken with the scabbard " {yyd), see Revelation, 
xiii. 10. " Nich. Blessed be the peace-makers ; they 
that strike with the sword shall be beaten with the 
scabbard. Phil. Well said, proverbs, nere another to 
that purpose? Nich. Yes, I could have said to you, 
syr, Take heede is a good reede." — Haughton, Two 
Angry Women of Abington (1599). 

(b) " it is ill putting a naked sword in a mad man's 
hand " (87c). 

Taber, see Hare. 

Tables, " play at tables " (1386), backgammon. " This 
is the ape of form, monsieur the nice, That, when 
he plays at tables, chides the dice." — Shakspeare, 
Love's L. L. (1594), v. 2. 

Tail, see Stools, Worm. 

446 Note-Book and Word-List [take 

Take, see Inn, Give, Heart, Nay, Pepper, Sheaf, Time. 

Tale, (a) " tale of a tub " (94c ; 189b), nonsense, fooling, 
absurdity. " Ye say they follow your law, And vary 
not a straw, Which is a tale of a tub." — Bale, Three 
Laws (1538), Works (E.E.D.S.). 

(b) "a good tale ill told in the telling is marred " 
(82c), see infra. 

(c) " good tales well told and ill heard . . . are 
marred " (82c), see supra. 

(d) " to tell tales out of school " (23d), to romance, 
play the informer (Tyndale, d. 1536). 

(e) " by told tales " (27c), tale — incredible story, 
marvellous narration ; also words of wisdom : thus the 
acme of truth or falsehood. " Telle no talys." — Cov. 
Myst. (1469). 

(/) " thy tales all taste of ale " (189&), i.e. are pot- 
house yarns. 
Tallow, " plainness is most tallow " (248c). 

Tarrier, " let him be no longer tarrier " (35^), a 
dawdler, a " slowcoach." " And for that cause he is 
often times called of them Fabius cunctator, that is to 
say, the tarier or delayer." — Elyot, Governour (1531), 
bk. i., ch. xxiii. 

Taste, see Ale, Tale. 

Tatch, see Colt. 

Taught, see Fed. 

Taunt tivet (Syd), primarily a hunting call, a note on 
the horn : here an exclamatory salutation. 

Teeth, " to cast in my teeth checks and choking 
oysters " (43c), see Checks and Choking oysters. 

Tell, see Cards. 

Ten, see Bird. 

Tender, see Leman. 

Terms, " in plain terms plain truth ... to utter " 
(54 c )- 

Thames, (a) " to cast water in Thames " (39b), a simile 
of useless or thankless labour ; a work of supereroga- 

three] Note-Book and Word-List 447 

(b) " bearing no more rule than a goose turd in 

Thames " (76c). 
Than (passim), then. 
Thank, " I can thee good thank " (1416), can = 

able to give; thank is singular = thanks. 

Thankless, " a thankless office " (58^). 

Thare (238c?), there : note the rhyme. 

There, see Some. 

Thief, " to ax my fellow whether I be a thief " (72b ; 

Thieves, (a) " when thieves fall out true men come to 
their good " (93 b ; 198^), or (modern) " when thieves 
fall out honest men come by their own " : good — be- 
longings, possessions. 

(b) " beggars may sing before thieves and weep 
before true men " (47a ; iSod). 

(c) see Receivers. 

Thing, (a) " too much of one thing is not good " (64(f), 
this we now shorten to " too much of a good thing." 

(b) see Call, Gosling, Nothing, Seek. 

(c) "a wonder thing what things these old things 
tell " (33c). 

Think, " even as ye think now so come to you " (606). 
Thinketh, see Farthing, Shame. 
Thong, see Buckle. 
Thorn, see Sat, Sharp thorn. 

Thought, (a) " thought is free " (57b). " Since thought 
is free, thinke what thou will." — James I., MS. Add. 


(b) " my thought ... is a goodly dish " (61c). 

Thread, " you spin a fair thread " (68c), with which 
compare "this thread finer to spin" (i2d ; 2156). 

Threadbare, see Purse. 

Threating, " in brawling and threating " (167c), 
threatening. " The face of warre would looke so 
sterne and great. As it might threat to heave him 
from his sea." — Drayton, Poems (1637), p. 18. 

Three, (a) " three may a-keep counsel if two be away " 
(656 ; 222d). " Three may keep a counsel if twain 

448 Note-Book and Word-List [three trees 

be away." — Chaucer, Ten Commandments of Love. 
" The empress, the midwife, and yourself : Two may 
keep counsel, when the third's away." — Shakspeare, 
Titus Andronicus (1593), iv. 2. 

(b) " frenzy, heresy, and jealousy are three that . . . 
never cured be " (77c). 

Three trees, " frame of three trees " (247c), the gal- 
lows : variants of like kidney are numerous — e.g. 
Two-legged mare, Three-legged stool, Three-cornered 
tree, Mare with three legs, Tyburn tree, Triple tree, 
&c, &c. 

Thrift, (a) " when thrift is in the town ye be in the 
field, &c." (92a). 

(&) " I will now begin thrift when thrift seemeth 
gone " (93d). 

(c) " now thrift is gone now would ye thrive in all 
haste " (95b). 

(d) " thou art past thrift before thrift begin " (35a). 
(c) " when thrift and you fell first at a fray you 

played the man, for ye made thrift run away " (42^). 

Thrive, (a) " he that will thrive must ask leave of his 
wife " (34c?), another form of which occurs in Thynn's 
Deb. betw. Pride and Lowliness (1570) : — " He had a 
sonne or twaine he would advaunce, And sayd they 
should take paines untyll it fell ; He that wyll thrive 
(quod he) must tary chaunce. " 
(b) see Weddeth. 

Throw, see Gift. 

Thumb, (a) " ye taunt me tit over thumb " (64a). 

(b) " she hitteth me on the thumbs " (64a). 

(c) " this biteth the mare by the thumb " (76c). 

Ticking, " their ticking might have taught any young 
couple their love ticks to have wrought " (53d) — 
" leave lewd ticking " {jod) — " to tick and laugh with 
me he hath lawful leave" (71a), tick = to dally, wan- 
ton : frequently " tick and toy." " Such ticking, such 
toying, such smiling, such winking, and such manning 
them home when the sports are ended." — Gosson, 
School of Abuse (1579). 

Tickle, (a) " my tongue must oft tickle " (15b), itch to 
be wagging (Udall, Apoph. 381). 
(b) see Time. 

tongue] Note-Book and Word-List 449 

Tide, " the tide tarrieth no man " (8c; 202c). " Hoist 
saile while gale doth last, Tide and wind stay no 
man's pleasure." — Southwell, St. Peter's Complaint 

Till, " thou consentest not till " (126^), till = to. 

Time, (a) " take time when time cometh, lest time steal 
away" (8c; 225a to c). 

(b) " let time^try " (72c). 

(c) " time trieth truth " (72c). 

(d) " time is tickle " (8d ; 2076 and c), uncertain. 

(e) " time lost again we cannot win " (5id). 

Tippets, " so turned they their tippets " (54c), changed 
right about: cf. "turncoat"; frequently of girls on 
marriage. "Another Bridget; one that for a face 
Would put down Vesta; You to turn tippet!" — 
Jonson, Case is Altered (1609). Also Epigrams (178b 
to 180a). 

Tit, (a) " tit for tat " (64a), blow for blow, an equiva- 
lent, as good one side as the other : i.e. Ft. tant 
pour tant. 

(b) "little tit, all tail" (24c), tit originally = any- 
thing very small or diminutive. 

Titifils, " no mo such titifils " (24a), a knave, a 
jade : a generic reproach. " The devill hymself . . . 
did apparell certain catchepoules and parasites, com- 
monly called titivils and tale tellers, to sowe discord 
and dissencion." — Hall, Henry VI. (1542), f. 43. 

Toad, " she swelled like a toad " (396). 

Toast, " hot as a toast " (546). 

Tolleth, " the milner tolleth corn " (1496), takes a 
portion of grain as compensation for grinding. 

Tomb, see Dead. 

Tone (passim), the one : see Tother. 

Tongue, (a) " her tongue runneth on pattens " (78a), 
see Pattens. 

(b) " let not your tongue run at rover " (69a), see 

(c) " thv tongue runneth before thv wit " (64a ; 
2i 4 d). 


450 Note-Book and Word-List [tools 

(d) " biteth not with teeth but with her tongue " 


(e) " her tongue is no edge tool but yet it will cut " 

(/) " tongue breaketh bone, itself having none " 
(68c ; 206b to d). " Tonge breketh bon, Ant nad hire 
selve non." — Proverbs of Hendyng, MS. (c. 1320). 

(g) " when your tongue tickleth, at will let it walk " 


(h) " my tongue must oft tickle" (15&), itch to be 

(i) " it hurteth not the tongue to give fair words " 
(226). " O, madam, faire words never hurt the 
tongue." — Jonson, &c, Eastward Hoe (1605). 

(;') " he may show wisdom at will that with angry 
heart can hold his tongue still " (44^). 

(fe) " I would thy tongue were cooled to make thy 
tales more cold " (85c). 

(I) " my tongue is a limb to match and to vex 
every vein of him " (686). 

(m) " think ye ... I will be tongued-tied " (69c). 

Tools, see Workman. 

Tooted, " cards be tooted on but on the tone side " 
(231&), looked at, examined. 

Tooting, " on my maids he is ever tooting " (70b), 
casting " sheep's eyes," leering. 

Top, " as soon drive a top over a tiled house " (71c). 

Tossed, see Post. 

Tother (passim), the other : see Tone. 

Tott'n'am, " Tott'n'am was turned French" (17^), 
said of great alterations and changed conditions : from 
the migration of a number of French workmen to this 
locality early in the reign of Henry VIII., their com- 
petition provoking the jealousy of English mechanics, 
and resulting in disturbances in the streets of London 
on May-day, 1517. 

Tow, " more tow on their distaves than they can well 
spin " (73c), more in hand than can be well undertaken. 
11 I have more tow on my dystaffe than I can well 
spyn." — Heywood, Works (E.E.D.S.), 1. 25c. 

trust] Note-Book and Word-List 451 

Toy, (a) " every trifling toy age cannot laugh at " (88a), 
toy = whim, fancy, jest, &c. 

(&) " such toys in her head " (756), see supra. 
(c) " their faces told toys " (17^), see Face. 

Tract, " tract of time " (8a), process, length, continued 
duration. " This in tracte of tyme made hym welthy." 
— Fabyan, Chronycle, ch. lvi. 

Trade, " yourself . . . taketh direct trade " (14c), way, 
means, course. " The Jewes, emong whom alone and 
no moe, God hitherto semed for to reigne, by reason of 
their knowledge of the law, and of the autoritee of 
being in the right trade of religion." — Udall, Luke 

Tread, (a) see Worm. 

(b) " my wife doth . . . tread her shoe awry " 
(278a), play the whore ; and (in a weaker sense) 
play fast and loose. " A woman to play false, enter 
a man more than she ought, or tread her shooe 
awry." — Cotgrave, Diet. (161 1). 

Treason, " in trust is treason " (67c). 

Tree, (a) " it were a folly for me to put my hand 
between the bark and the tree " (57a*), to meddle in 
family matters. 

(b) " timely crooketh the tree that would a cammock 
be " (94a), see Cammock. 

(c) " you cannot see the wood for trees " (62&), see 

(d) see Three trees. 

Triacle (igid), a medicine, an antidote. " Is there no 
triacle in Gilead ? " — Wycliffe, Jer. viii. 22. 

Trick, " so deep and so trick " (257d), smart, trig. 

Trip, " take me in any trip " (59d). 

Trod, see Black ox. 

Trot, see Need. 

True, (a) " it must needs be true that every man sayeth " 
(38a ; 200a and b). 
(b) see Thieves. 

Trust, see Treason. 

g g 2 

45 2 Note-Book and Word-List [truth 

Truth, (a) " tell truth without sin " (28a). 

(b) " deem the best till time hath tried the truth 
out " (72^), see Time. 

Tub, see Tale. 

Tun, " as full as a tun " (45b ; 208a), tun = a large cask. 
" And ever sith hath so the tappe yronne, Til that 
almost all empty is the tonne." — Chaucer, Cant. Tales 
(1383), 3.891. 

Tune, (a) " out of tune by note " (68c). 

(b) " no tale could tune you in time to take heed " 

Turd, (a) " one crop of a turd marreth a pot of potage " 
( 7 6d). 

(&) " the more we stir a turd, the more it will 
stink " (76d). 

Turn, (a) " one good turn asketh another " (41c) : we 
now say " deserves." 

(b) " he is cast in his own turn " (213c). 

(c) see Cat. 

Turneth, see Runneth. 

Twain, (a) " we twain are one too many " (656). 
(b) see Three. 

Two, see Faces, Sorrow, Stools. 

Unborn, "better unborn than untaught" (25a; 197c!). 
" Old men yn proverbe sayde by old tyme, ' A chyld 
were beter to be unbore, Than to be untaught.' " — 
Symon, Lessons of Wysedome for all Manet Chyldryn 
(c. 1450). 

Unkissed, (a) " farewell, unkissed " (29^), of a not over- 
friendly parting : see next entry. 

(b) "unknown, unkissed" (38c; 1946 and c). 

Unminded, " unminded, unmoaned " (21c). 
Untaught, see Unborn. 
Ure, see Pig. 

Use, "use maketh maistry " (55^; 219a), maistry = 
mastery, perfection. 

variorum readings] Note-Book and Word-List 453 

Variorum Readings and Errata. These, except where 
otherwise stated, are those of the edition of 1566 as 
compared with that of the original published in 1562. 
Anno christi (Title d), omitted ; to make out of hand 
(5c), take ; Since that, that one will not (8d), Since 
that one will not ; my tail go to ground (9b), go to 
the ground; may win my heart (nd), my omitted; 
Chapter V. (12a), erroneously given in both editions 
(and in the Spenser Soc. reprint without a note) as 
Chapter VI. ; to be led (14b), to be is duplicated ; 
Chapter VII. (16a), throughout the present text the 
Chapter headings have been modernised : in the 
original editions these usually read The. i chapiter, 
and so forth ; in the present instance the reading of 
the 1562 edition is The seventh chapiter, but in the 
1566 edition it follows the regular rule, having been 
corrected in the press ; thought this the best way to 
be (23a), the and way are omitted ; cometh a good 
end (25^), a is omitted ; no scratching will forbear 
(28c), will is omitted; ye pry and ye prowl (31c), pry 
and prowl ; may prove well (33b), may is omitted ; 
mine own said brother (33d), said is omitted ; at 
mangy hackney's hire (40b), hackney; by'r lady 
friend (41c), in 1562 ed. freed, freend in 1566 issue ; 
one draught of drink (41^), a draught ; beggarly 
beauty and rivalled riches (50a), rivalled is a mis- 
print in the present text for rivelled (= wrinkled, 
shrunken) : in the original 1562 ed. it is riueld and 
reueld in the 1566 ; the choice is between a poor 
beauty and a rich, but foundered, old woman ; he might 
have ; his wife was set (53c), he might have omitted ; 
her biggest bags (54b), a curious misprint occurs in 
the 1566 edition, the biggest baggs of the original 
reading bcggs baggest ; two days past (58c), days 
omitted ; Well amended (thought I) (59c), quoth I ; 
ye shall first jet (6od), shall omitted ; this fair young 
wife (616), fair omitted ; ye cannot see (626), you 
cannot ; as alike to compare (63c), to omitted ; than 
be too bold (64b), too omitted ; may a-keep counsel 
(65b), keep ; in the fields (706), the omitted ; look on 
a king (70c), a omitted ; head fast under (71b), fast 
omitted ; stand at receipt (72b), in original receite, 
but changed in 1566 to recite as thought recital : a 
rare form, and one which the O.E.D. does not gloss 

454 Note-Book and Word-List [variorum readings 

until 1685 ; your maid examined (72b), examine ; proof 
to his reproof (73a), proof; then to deprave (75c), 
then omitted ; she is 50 far gone (77c), so omitted ; 
that striketh with the sword (77^), strike ; reporteth 
it for a truth (77<J), it omitted ; the heart reweth not 
(78c), reneweth ; see a balk (81a), block ; to end of 
all things (826), of omitted ; thou art so wood (86c), 
good ; whereby each man (876), where each man ; in 
ought that mirth (88a), in omitted ; the fletcher mends 
(91a), mend ; to some tell this tale (92a), some 
omitted ; leapt over a block (926), in original ever, 
but ouer in ed. 1566 ; with one bush (95a), with is 
duplicated in error ; liked then (95b), Zifce ; hundred 
pound (95^), misprinted pround in original and set 
right in ed. 1566 ; wellnigh tryeth me (97b), tyreth ; 
Fond wedding (i02d), found ; For unhonest . . . 
sounds (107*2), included in parentheses ; A Louse and 
a Flea (hoc), a omitted; A Hearer of a Sermon 
(ma), a omitted ; Thick ears and thick wits be plenty 
(115a), so in original, the 1566 reading being thin ; 
did die for lack of wind (115(f), died; so feat a 
reason (116a), a omitted ; and yonder weathercock 
(116b), yonde, in a field (118b), the ; I heard of truth 
(120c), hear; as for the holy day (126c?), ffre omitted; 
roo shrewd a wit in desire to dwell (1270*), a shrewd 
wit in desire; in God's precepts (127a 1 ), God's 
omitted ; which were best choice (130c), were the best 
choice ; Made I any lie (132a 1 ), a ; A Louse and a 
Flea (135b), a omitted ; Of this Word, Enough 
(137c), the ; strike and chime twelve (141a), in 
original "xij." and " 12." in ed. 1566; smart, or 
tickle (142b), or omitted; (think I) (1440"), (quoth I); 
as I wot thou art (i5id), as thou I wot art; Of 
treading on a worm (1570"), of; Of mirth with wisdom 
(128a), and; Of the Fox's preaching (i6id), fox; 
better take twenty pounds (169b), the roman numerals 
of the original are, as before, replaced by Arabic 
figures in the edition of 1566 ; better for birders but 
for birds not so good (173d), better for birds but for 
birders, <5>-c. ; " 100 far past shame " (174c), too 
omitted ; store may be a sore (i76d), a omitted ; 
mo of womankind (177a), womenkind ; as to work 
for nought (180b), to omitted ; Of a painted 
sheath (180c), a omitted ; venturing is now such 

variorum readings] Note-Book and Word-List 455 

(1816), no ; good horse (186c), horses ; Measure is a 
merry mean In volumes, &c. (192c), a omitted in 
original : here as in ed. 1566 ; how . . . sure that 
malkin one (200b), is one ; scalded squire (200c), 
scabbed ; say 50 a long space (203c), so long a ; each 
will other disdain (204a), each other will; 234 (216a), 
in original misnumbered 233; 235 (2166), in the 
original misnumbered 234 ; in both cases put right 
in the 1566 copy ; few good doles (224*2), good 
omitted ; 291 (2266), misnumbered 281 in original, 
but correctly in 1566 copy ; Of smellings (227a), 
smelling; Of least tittle (231&), of the least tittle; 
Of a disagreement (233c), a omitted ; Of loving of a 
goose (234b), geese ; Between dogs and a deer (234c), 
a omitted ; An advice against mocking (238b), Of ; 
Of a horse (238*2), a omitted ; I would be, both for 
(239*2), be in both ; gable ends, cambers (239*2), 
chambers ; the leg is itching (240a), is omitted ; may 
seem your wife's father (243a), seem you, your ; 
whence come their glittering spangs (243d), these ; 
corned crooked toes (243d), corn ; like a now hunted 
sow (245*2), new ; Of a Cutter of Purslane (246b), 
the ; standeth in no man's else (246c), no omitted ; 
41 (248*2), erroneously in original 40 ; choice of one 
of two things (250*2), of omitted; is chief part (2516), 
is the chief part ; so courteous (255a), original has 
curtusie ; and one on each side (258*2), one 
omitted ; March hare's mad property (274*2), made ; 
Of a lanthorn and Light (279c), a omitted ; lost'st 
a mark (279c), losest (lostest — losist) ; at the tale's 
end (280a), thy ; bring both these about (280*2), these 
omitted ; axt (283c), axe ; Smart's Key (284a), Smar- 
ris ; Carter Lane? nay, nay (284a), one nay is 
omitted ; in thy head (284b), the ; to scratch (2856), 
scart ; Hast any marjorum, gentle (288a), hast thou 
any : in present text delete the comma before 
*' gentle " ; Of Pineapple (288*2), " Of a pine tppell " ; 
Epigram 76 (289c), in original lettuce is spelt lettes 
in the text, and lettis in the title of the Epigram — in 
modernising the spelling, the es of the former is re- 
presented by uce : the pun, such as it is, is thus pre- 
served, its modern guise being let us ; when ye list 
(293c), he list ; is now assigned (294a), now is omitted ; 
walk plainly (295c), blainly ; turned to merry scoff 

456 Note-Book and Word-List [vengeably 

(297c), to a merry ; If all the world (299), of in MS. 
copy. See Errata, page 466. 

Vengeably, " vengeably strait-laced " (129**, et passim), 
very, exceedingly : an intensive. 

Venom, " spit her venom " (24**). 

Venture, see Nought. 

Viage, " this viage make" (21c), voyage = a journey by 
land or sea. 

Wade, " for what should I further wade " (43a). 
Wag, see Merry. 

Waghalter, " waghalter slipstring " (86d), waghalter 
= a rogue, gallowsbird, crackrope : see Slipstring. 

Waking, " might have been asleep for ought they in 
waking . . . would do " (30&). 
(6) see Dog. 

Walk, (a) " walk, drab, walk ! " (63c). 
(6) " walk, knave, walk ! " (63c). 
(c) see Waster. 

Walking-staff, " the walking-staff hath caught warmth 
in your hand " (26c). 

Wall, (a) " to winch . . . against the hard wall " (686 ; 
219b and c), winch (or wince) = kick. " Paul, whom 
the Lord hadde chosun, long tyme wynside agen the 
pricke." — Wycliffe, Prolog on the Dedes of Apostles. 

(b) " further than the wall he cannot go " (71& ; 

(c) " drive him to the wall " (71b), urge to ex- 
tremities, " corner." 

(d) "I shall pike out no more than out of the stone 
wall " (726), />»fce = pick, find out, learn, mark. 

(e) " as in frost a mud wall . . . cracketh and 
crummeth ... so melteth his money " (79a). 

Waltham, " as wise as Waltham's calf " (58(f), the 
allusion is lost though the meaning is clear and 
examples are many, the earliest I have found occur- 
ring in Skelton's Colin Clout (1520), where a rascal 
priest is described " As wyse as Waltom's calfe . . . 
he can nothyng smatter Of logyke nor scole matter." 

wax] Note-Book and Word-List 457 

" Some running and gadding calves, wiser than 
Waltham's calfe that ranne nine miles to sucke a 
bull." — Disclosing of the great Bull [Harl. Misc. 
(1567), vii. 535]. 

Wan, " I wan them" (42a; 118c), won. 

Ware, see Merchant. 

Warely, " Being fled warely " (140c), warily : note the 
rhyme with "barely" and " charely " ( = charily). 

Warling, see Darling. 

Warm, see God's blessing, Wise. 

Wars, " we do much wars " (39a), worse : note the 

Wash, " as sober as she seemeth, five days come about 
but she will once wash her face in an ale clout " 
(26^) : see Ale-clout. 

Wasp, " angry as a wasp " (31&). 

Waste, see Haste. 

Waster, " walked with a waster " (148a), beaten : 
walk = beat ; waster = cudgel. 

Wat, " thy head . . . sheweth thee a wat " (141c), 
wat = hare : a type of light or empty headedness, as 
in " hare-brained." 

Water, (a) " the trial thereof we will lay a water " 
(10a) — my matter is laid a water " (191a), put 
aside, defer judgment, render nugatory : see Lay. 

(b) " you come to look in my water " (41a), physi- 
cians once diagnosed complaints by " casting the 
water of a patient." " If thou could'st, doctor, cast 
The water of my land, find her disease." — Shakspeare, 
MacBeth (1606), v. 3. 

(c) " no more water than the ship drew " (89a). 

(d) see Horse, Moonshine, Pot. 

Water-drinker, " a falser water-drinker there liveth 
not " (72a). 

Wax, " she should have wrought like wax " (75a). 

458 Note-Book and Word-List [way 

Way, (a) " if ye haul this way I will another way 
draw " (63d). 

(b) see Wood. 

(c) " it is out of my way " (220^). 

Weaker, (a) " the weaker hath the worse " (236 ; 199^). 
(b) see Pot. 

Wbalth, (a) " both for wealth and woe " (17a), wealth 
= (originally) good, weal, prosperity. " Let no man 
seek his own, but every man another's wealth." — 
1 Corinth. (Auth. Ver., 161 1), x. 24. 

(b) " all thing may be suffered saving wealth " 

W 7 ear, see Breech. 

Weather, (a) " when all shrews have dined, change from 
foul weather to fair is oft inclined " (50c). 

(b) " weather meet to set paddocks abrod in " (506), 
see Clouds, Curryfavel, Paddock. 

Weathercock, " like a weathercock " (102a). 

Wed, " where nought is to wed with wise men flee the 
clog " (32a). 

Wedded, " I was wedded unto my will ... I will be 
divorced and be wed to my wit " (102c). 

Weddeth, " who weddeth or he be wise shall die or 
he thrive " (19b ; 172b). 

Wedding (terms of), (a) " wooing for woeing, banna 
for banning, the banns for my bane, marrying marring, 
a woman, as who saith, woe to the man " (83c). 

(b) " wedding and hanging are destiny " (gc ; 168b), 
an earlier mention, " Hanging and wiving go by 
destiny," is found in the Schole-hous for Women 
(1541). In 1558 a ballad was licensed with the title 
" The Proverbe is true y* Weddynge is destinye." 

(c) " they went (witless) to wedding whereby at last 
they both went a-begging " (33d). 

(d) " quick wedding may bring good speed " (10a). 

whit] Note-Book and Word-List 459 

Weed, (a) "ill weed groweth apace" (2yd ; 2176). 

" Ewyl weed ys sone y-growe." — M.S. Harleian 

(c. 1490). 
(&) " the weed overgroweth the corn " (2yd). 
Week, "in by the week" (846; 176^). 

Weep, " better children weep than old men " (175c), 
see Children. 

Weet (220a), wet. 

Welcome, " welcome when thou goest " (ygd). 

Well, (a) " all is well that ends well " (25c ; 202d). 

(b) " believe well and have well " (god). 

(c) " do well and have well " (god). 

(d) see Bag. 

(e) " many wells, many buckets " (856), with which 
compare the modern retort, " How many wells make 
a river? " 

Wet, see Cat. 

Wet finger, " with a wet finger " (95c), easily, readily : 
as easy as turning over the leaf of a book, rubbing 
out writing on a slate, or tracing a lady's name on 
the table with spilt wine — the last may well be the 
origin of the phrase : cf. " Verba leges digitis, verba 
notata mero " (Ovid, Amor. i. 4. 20). So also Tibullus, 
lib. i. el. 6 : — " Neu te decipiat nutu, digitoque 
liquorem Ne trahat, et mensae ducat in orbe notas." 
" What gentlewomen or citizens' wives you can with 
a wet finger have at any time to sup with you." — 
Dekker, The Gull's Hornbook (1602). 

What's o'clock, see Clock. 

Whelp, " as a whelp for wantonness in and out whips " 

Whip, "at a whip" (n8d), at a bound, as if in re- 
sponse to a slash of a whip. 

Whisters, " this lesson he whisters " (122c), tells 
softly, whispers : note the rhyme. 

Whit, " as good never a whit as never the better " 

460 Note-Book and Word-List [will 

White, see Crow. 

White livered (69c), cowardly, mean : an old notion 
was that cowards had bloodless livers. " White 
liver'd runagate." — Shakspeare, Richard III. (1597), 
iv. 1. 

Whiteness, " that all her whiteness lieth in her white 
hairs " (4c), whiteness = chastity. " The purity and 
whiteness of my sheets." — Shakspeare, Winter's Tale 
(1604), i. 2. 

Whiting, " there leaped a whiting " (780*), there was 
an opportunity missed. 

Whole, (a) "if ye lack that away ye must wind with 
your whole errand and half th' answer behind " (51c). 
(&) " hear the whole, the whole wholly to try " 

Whore, " hop whore, pipe thief " (86d). 

Wide, (a) see Shoot. 

(b) " wide a bow of Bridewell " (2436), beyond a 
bow shot." 

Wife, (a) " he that will thrive must ask leave of his 
wife " (34a") : a variant is "it is hard to wive and 
thrive both in a year " (34^). " A man may not 
wyfe And also thryfe And alle in a yere." — Towneley 
Mysteries (c. 1420). 

(b) " the best or worst thing to man for this life 
is good or ill choosing his good or ill wife " (6b). 

(c) "a good wife maketh a good husband " (88c). 

(d) see Shoemaker's wife. 

Wight, " as wight as the hound " (180c), wight = 
nimble, active. "He was so nimble and so wight." 
— Spenser, Shepheards Calendar, March. 

Will, (a) " he that will not when he may, when he 

would, he shall have nay " (8a; 168c), compare " who 

that may not as they would, will as they may " (68a). 

(b) " when we would, ye would not . . . wherefore 

now when ye would, now will not we " (28b). 

wind] Note- Book and Word- List 461 

(c) " that one will not, another will " (8d). 

(d) " will will have will, though will woe win " 


(e) " will is a good son and will is a shrewd boy 
and wilful shrewd will hath wrought thee this toy " 


(/) see Wax, Wedded, Win. 

Willing, " nothing is impossible to a willing heart " 

Win, (a) " will may win my heart " (nd). 

(b) " although I nought win yet shall I nought 
lose " (102a). 

(c) " ye can nought win by any wayward mean " 

(d) " he playeth best that wins " (215c), see Laugh. 

Winch, see Wall (a). 

Wind, (a) " an ill wind that bloweth no man to good " 
(93c; 183a). " Falstaff. What wind blew you hither? 
Pistol. Not the ill wind which blows no man to good." 
— Shakspeare, 2 Henry IV. (1598), v. 3. 

(b) " let this wind overblow " (36c ; 215(f). 

(c) " every wind bloweth not down the corn " 

(d) " all this wind shakes no corn " (36c). 

(e) " he smelled her out and had her straight in the 
wind " (39c), had at an advantage ; understood her. 

(/) " I have him in the wind " (223b), see supra. 

(g) " what wind bloweth ye hither? " (25a). 

(h) " to take wind and tide with me " (36c). 

(1) " if the wind stand in that door, it standeth 
awry " (68c). " It is even so? is the winde in that 
doore? " — Gascoigne, Supposes (1566). 

(;') " your meddling . . . may bring the wind cairn 
between us " (59^). 

(fe) " I will ... ill winds to sway, spend some 
wind . . . though I waste wind in vain " (60a), wind 
= breath is ancient. " Woman thy wordis and thy 
wynde thou not waste." — York Plays (c. 1362), 258. 

462 Note-Book and Word-List [windfall 

(I) " knew which way the wind blew " (91b), aware 
of the position of matters, state of affairs, 
(m) " wavering as the wind " (54^). 

Windfall, " to win some windfall " (38**). 

Wine, " ye praise the wine before ye taste of the grape " 

(2 7 d). 

Wing, " keep your bill under wing mute " (69a). 

Wink, see Cat. 

Winneth, "he laugheth that winneth " (i2d ; 2156), 
see Laugh. 

Wins, see Win. 

Wise, (a) " ye are wise enough if ye keep ye warm " 
(56c; 193c). 

(b) " better to be happy than wise " (75c ; 1906). 

(c) "as ye can seem wise in words be wise in 
deed " (736). 

(d) " every wise man staggers in earnest or boord 
to be busy or bold with his biggers or betters " (47d). 

(e) see Merry, Weddeth. 

Wisest men, see Clerks. 

Wish, " better have than wish " (61c ; 222b and c). 

Wishers, " wishers and woulders be no good house- 
holders " (32ft). " Wysshers and wolders ben smal 
housholders." — Vulg. Stambrigi (15 10). " He . . . 
resolved rather to live by his wit, then any way to 
be pinched with want, thinking this old sentence to be 
true, the wishers and woulders were never good house- 
holders." — Green, Never too Late (1590). 

Wist, (a) " beware of Had I wist " (6c; 219^), an ex- 
clamation of regret. " Be welle war of wedyng, and 
thynk in youre thought ' Had I wist ' is a thyng it 
servys of nought." — Towneley Myst. (c. 1420). 
(b) see Blab. 

Wit, (a) " wit is never good till bought " (i8d ; 169c and 
d), wit = wisdom, knowledge. "Stationers could not 

wood] Note-Book and Word-List 463 

live, if men did not beleeve the old saying, that Wit 
bought is better than Wit taught." — Conceits, 
Clinches, Flashes and Whimzies (1639). 

(b) " to leave my wit before it leave me " (55c). 

(c) "at our wit's end" (i8d ; 169c). 

(d) " one good forewit worth is two after wits " 

(c) see Ale, Head, Tongue, Wedded. 

Woe, (a) " she hath wrought her own woe " (25^). 

(&) "woe worth all crafty inventions" (116b; 
3040), worth a to become, to be : here in imperative 
with the noun in the dative, and meaning " Woe 
be to," &c. 

(c) see Hasty. 

Wolf, (a) " to keep the wolf from the door " (83 b). 

(b) " a wolf in a lamb's skin " (28a). 

Woman, see Cat. 

Won, see Cards, Nought. 

Wonder, " this wonder lasted nine days " (536 ; 196&). 
" Eke wonder last but nine deies never in town." — 
Chaucer, Troilus and Creseide. " A book on any 
subject by a peasant, or a peer, is no longer so much 
as a nine-days wonder." — Ascham, Schoole-master 

Wondered, " he that doeth as most men do, shall be 
least wondered on " (56a). 

Wonderfool, " wonderfool well " (243a), a play on 
" fool " and " full." 

Wood, (a) " there be mo ways to the wood than one " 
(93d ; 1876). 

(6) " thou art so wood " (31b ; 86c) — " horn 
wood " (99c), mad, furious, frantic, raging. " Flem- 
ynges, lyke wood tygres." — Fabyan, Cronycle (an. 
1299). See Horn wood. 

(c) " ye cannot see the wood for trees " (626). 
" From him who sees no wood for trees And yet is 

464 Note-Book and Word-List [woodcock 

busie as the bees . . . Libera nos." — A Lttany for 
S. Omers (1682). 

(d) " ye took the wrong way to wood " (gid). 

(e) see Bird, Cow, Crow, Eyes, Woodness. 

Woodcock (242^), simpleton, fool. " O this wood- 
cock ! what an ass it is ! " — Shakspeare, Taming of 
the Shrew (1593), i. 2. 

Woodness, " worse than woodness " (193a), wood = 
mad, furious, frantic, raging : see other volumes of 
this series. 

Wool, (a) " what should your face thus again the wool 
be shorn?" (36c). 

(b) " thy face is shorn against the wool, very deep " 
(i 9 8d). 

(c) see Sheep's flesh. 

Word, (a) " not afford you one good word " (93b). 

(b) " one ill word axeth another " (22a). 

(c) " many words, many buffets " (85b). 

(d) " good words bring not ever of good deeds good 
hope " (94a). 

(e) " this doth sound ... on your side in words, 
but on my side in deed " (83d). 

(/) " few words to the wise suffice " (82c). 
(g) see Losers, Tongue, Wood. 

Work, see Hands, Play. 

Workman, " what is a workman without his tools? " 
(94c; 189b). 

World, (a) " the world runneth on wheels " (78b), 
runs easily, expeditiously. 

(b) " let the world wag " (i2d), let go, let things 
take care of themselves. " Y'are a baggage ; the Slies 
are no rogues ; Look in the chronicles, we came in 
with Richard Conqueror. Therefore, paucas palla- 

wull] Note-Book and Word-List 465 

bris ; let the world slide." — Shakspeare, Taming of 
the Shrew, Induction, i. 6. 
(c) " he brought the world so about " (98**). 

Worm, " tread a worm on the tail and it must turn 
again " (64c ; 171c). " The . . worm will turn, being 
trodden on ; And doves will peck in safe-guard of their 
brood." — Shakspeare, 3 Henry VI. (1595), ii. 2. 

Worse, (a) " all thing is the worse for the wearing " 
(&) see Lady, Lord, Shoemaker's wife, Weaker. 

Worst, (a) " provide for the worst, while the best itself 
save " (i2d ; 220&). 

(&) " the worst is behind, we come not where it 
grew" (57c; i95<2; 196a and &). 

(c) " if the worst fell, we could have but a nay " 

(d) see Candle. 

Wot, " I wot what I wot " (84^). 

Would, see Will. 

Wrbstling, see Weaker. 

Wringer, " your wealth's wringer " (280c), i.e. the 
thumb and finger as the instruments of the payment 
away, or the dissipation of money. 

Write, see Friends, Health. 

Wrong, (a) " thou beggest at wrong door " (181a) — 
" ye beg at a wrong man's door " (20c). 
(b) see Sow. 

Wroting, " the wroting hog " (172c), grubbing, rooting. 

Wull (75^), will : note the rhyme. 


466 Note-Book and Word-List [year 

Year, (a) " I am too old a year " (90c). 
(&) see Dear, Fair, Happeth, Stake. 

Yesterday, (a) "it is too late to call again yesterday " 

(&) " the offence of yesterday I may redeem " (gob). 

Yield, " in ease as ye shall yield me as ye cost me, so 
shall ye cost me as ye yield me " (43c). 

Yis (282*2; 291&), yes: note the rhyme and compare 
with the modern Cockney vulgarism. 

Yit (82a), yet : note the rhyme. 

Young, (a) "ye be young enough to mend . . . but I 
am . . . too old to see it " (90c). 
(&) see Saint, Devil. 

Younger, " ye shall never labour younger " (21c), see 

Yow (passim), you. 



8<2, Blame me not to haste read too. 
20a, day after fair read after the fair. 
33a, in saying that read in seeing that. 
33c, like to the fire read like to the sire. 
51&, Diners read Dinners. 
84*2, good children read godchildren. 
242a, Yes, Clim read Yes, clim. 
244*2, nett read net. 

Manufactured in the United Statu of An 

Proverbs, epigrams, and miscellan Main/2 
828.2 H622p 1966 

3 ISbS D2D2D 732T